Biographies

The GWSA is entrusted to its Board of Directors, elected each year at the Annual General Meeting which usually takes place in June.

Please use the Contact Us page for general inquiries. If you prefer to contact an individual Board Director, you may use the Contact Form at end of this page.

2021-2022 GWSA BOARD OF DIRECTORS

Charlie Bishop is looking ahead for retirement where he can engage in the community doing something he enjoys. His previous experiences include: design and development for global, world class high tech companies such as Nortel and BlackBerry, Chairman and Executive Director on an international Board of Directors for a wireless consortium which brought not only technology aspects but HR, multiple years of IT support/implementation, finance and business.   Charlie has extensive background in technology and is looking to apply that background for GWSA and its members.  He is looking to meet more people, and give back to his community while having fun and making a difference. Charlie is a forward thinker, seeing the bigger picture. His motivation is seeing opportunities to do things. If he sees something that isn’t working, able to create ways to move forward and change what needs to be done.

Ken Fugler has been an active member of GWSA for several years. He was elected as President of the Evergreen Canoe Club at its inception in 2009 and currently chairs the Membership and Marketing Committee. Ken is a Graduate of Ryerson in Aeronautical Engineering and was an Officer in the RCAF military. His career was in project management and sales of custom manufactured machinery, where he gained experience dealing with complicated legal quote requests and purchases. Ken was elected to the Board in May 2019. Recently, he began leading the Guelph Carving Club which joined the GWSA.

Pat Gage came to the Board with a background in administration and human resources.  She worked at Trent University for over 20 years, Gage Health Systems and you know her best for her time at the Evergreen Seniors Centre as the administrative assistant for Community Support Services until retirement in December, 2019. She has sat on the board for the Guelph Curling Club, Treasurer for the Board of the Volunteer Association of Guelph General Hospital and presently as GWSA Board member and Chair of the Program Committee.

She is also a crafter.  She belongs to the Royal City Quilt Guild, the GWSA Quilt Group and Into Focus Photography Group.  She is an avid quilter, knitter and enjoys her little garden. 

As Covid restrictions are loosened she looks forward to working with the Board, Activity Group Leaders and members of the GWSA community to help build a strong, inviting environment for all seniors.

Wenda King was elected to the GWSA Board of Directors at the 2020 AGM. A resident of Guelph for 60 years, she started her career with London Life Insurance and retired in 2006.  Upon retiring, Wenda worked with two financial advisors to assist them in opening up an office in Guelph which she managed from 2007-2019. Wenda has been involved in finances with the LaSertoma Club in Kitchener, the Volunteer Association at Guelph General Hospital, and the Endowment Committee as a Trustee at Knox Presbyterian Church. She really enjoys quality time with her family, as well as with friends and meeting new people.  As hobbies, she loves to travel, read, knit and canning our wonderful Canadian summer produce for winter use.

Ross Knechtel is active with the Computer Club as President, Computer Mentoring, the Into Focus Photography Club, the Silvertones Choir, the Membership & Marketing Committee, and the Program Committee. He is the current GWSA Webmaster. Ross provides a supportive role to the Board, providing technical support for the Board, programs, committees, and events that the Board delivers, as well as providing mental health support. Ross was elected to the GWSA Board of Directors in 2017 and he resigned in March of 2019 in order to go public about the controversial “secret meeting” regarding the future of GWSA Community Support Services. He was re-elected at the Special Members Meeting held on May 13, 2019, to serve the balance of a three-year term. At the 2020 AGM he was elected to an additional three-year term on the Board of Directors.

Teresa McKeeman spent 31 years working as a front line worker and in administration in the social services department at the County of Wellington. She was actively involved in the Steering Group that led the development of the Better Beginnings, Better Futures parent support program in the Shelldale community. Since retirement she has been an avid volunteer with different community programs including a number of years at GWSA with the Community Support Services. She is particularly interested in the GWSA strategic priority of ensuring programs and services are diverse and equitable and she looks forward to exploring opportunities to increase our presence in the community.

Janice Robertson was appointed to the Board of Directors in November, 2021.  Janice is a lifelong resident of Guelph, attended John F. Ross C.V.I., is a graduate of the University of Guelph and Hamilton Teachers College, and brings skills and experience from over thirty years in teaching. She has been a GWSA member since 2007, and has done volunteer work with Action Read, Children and Family Services. Janice has served on her condominium board, including a recent role as president. She is enjoying retirement with her husband, Dave, children, and grandchildren. Golfing, hiking, and travelling keep them active.

Adam Rutherford (City Representative) is the City of Guelph’s Program Manager of Programming and Community Development. For more than 20 years Adam has been working with, advocating for and developing programs in partnership community members of all ages. Adam’s work has focused on engagement, innovative program development and the needs of marginalized and underserved populations. Middle-aged skateboarder, lover of film and music, a big thinker that prefers intimate environments and always on the run. If his door’s open, come in and say hi! Adam is the City of Guelph’s representative on the GWSA Board of Directors.

Brian Smith joined the GWSA in 2019, and became President in 2021. He chairs the Board of Directors, Executive Committee, Governance Committee,  and Human Resources Management Committee, and is actively managing the website. Brian brings diverse qualifications and experience from a career of 37 years in education. As a school administrator, he provided leadership on many committees, became a founding member of the local Ontario Principals’ Council, and received Supervisory Officer certification from the Ministry of Education. He recently completed six years on the Board of Directors of Shelldale Family Gateway, which supports a diverse community, including many of Guelph’s most vulnerable children, youth, and adults.

Roger Stevens is a volunteer for the Community Support Services Outreach program, along with his wife Kathy. He is also a member of the Canoe Club. Roger was elected the Board in May 2019 and is serving on the GWSA Board as Treasurer, Chair of the Finance Committee, and member of the Executive Committee, Human Resources Management Committee, and CSS Advisory Committee.

Tonie MacInnis (Secretary for GWSA Board of Directors) is the current Recreation Program Coordinator for Seniors Services with the City of Guelph. She has worked in various roles within the Corporation of the City of Guelph over the past seven years, but recently, all of her attention has been put into developing new and exciting recreational programs for the senior community. Tonie looks forward to working alongside all GWSA members to support their initiatives and goals.

 

EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR

Linda Jeffrey is an individual who has an established 27-year track record in public service, both at the municipal and provincial levels.  She served as a City Councillor in Brampton for 12 years and later she was elected to the Ontario Legislative Assembly for eleven years.

While at the province Linda served as Ontario’s Minister Responsible for Seniors, Minister of Natural Resources, Minister of Labour, Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing, as well as Chair of Cabinet for the Province of Ontario. She returned to her municipal roots in 2014 and served as Mayor of Brampton until 2018, also serving as Chairperson for the Large Urban Mayors Caucus of Ontario, and as a member of the Peel Police Services Board. In 2012, Linda Jeffrey was honoured as a recipient of the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal for public service.

Linda joined Jake’s House to help launch their Community Living Initiative in 2019 as their Director of Housing.   During the pandemic she has been working with a variety of stakeholders to develop creative and innovative solutions to explore how to grow supportive, long-term inclusive living solutions for individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorder.

In July 2021 Linda was appointed for two years as a new member of the National Seniors Council for the Government of Canada. This Council advises the Government through the Ministers of Seniors and the Minister of Health on matters related to the well-being, health and quality of life of seniors, including opportunities and challenges arising from a rapidly growing and increasingly diverse aging population. After relocating to this area, she expressed interest in our organization and was appointed Executive Director of the GWSA starting in January, 2022.

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