KidsAbility Foundation Board of Directors (2021-2022)
Kate Durdan (Board Chair) has spent 30 years working in Operational and Human Resources leadership roles spending 18 years in a variety of management and director roles at Mutual Life, Clarica, and SunLife. For the past 12 years she has worked in the manufacturing sector most recently overseeing HR for Barrday Advanced Material Solutions in Cambridge Ontario. Kate has an Honours B.A. in Political Science from Queen’s University as well as various industry designations including her CHRP (Certified Human Resources Professional) designation. She has been involved with a variety of charitable organizations including Big Sisters, KWAG, and The Museum as well as in numerous capacities in the schools and sports organizations with which her two sons were involved. Even the smallest moments at KidsAbility make a difference in the lives of the children, youth and families involved. It’s witnessing these moments that inspire her as a Foundation board member to share the story and impact of KidsAbility, and encourage support for the organization across the community.
Valerie Hoag (Vice-Chair) is delighted to be associated with KidsAbility again after serving as Chair of the School Authority a number of years ago. During her previous association with the school, she was awed by the spirit of the children and impressed with the commitment of school and Centre staff. She has served many other volunteer roles with Centre In The Square, KW Synchronized Swimming Club, the Clinical Research Ethics Committee at the University of Waterloo, and the Waterloo Region Law Association. Her legal career of almost thirty-five years included being a partner with Sims, Clement, Eastman, teaching law full-time at Conestoga College, practicing with a boutique litigation firm in Hamilton and with Kay Law Professional Corporation locally.
Michael Duschenes (Past Board Chair) has spent over 35 years as a senior executive and management consultant. As Managing Director and COO at the Perimeter Institute since 2004, he has worked alongside Directors Howard Burton, Neil Turok and Rob Myers overseeing a major period of growth, establishing the institute as one of the world’s leading centres for foundational theoretical physics. Prior to joining Perimeter, Michael held a number of leadership positions, primarily in the not-for profit sector. He has also worked as a management consultant specializing in strategic and business planning, revenue generation, and organizational development. Over the course of his career, Michael has been involved with organizations and projects in Canada, the United States, Europe, South America and Asia. He is a native of Montreal and a graduate of McGill University. Michael saw firsthand what an incredible resource KidsAbility is in our community when one of his children benefited from the Centre’s services. He strongly believes that a caring and supportive community makes sure no child is left behind. He is committed to helping grow the Foundation’s base of support to ensure that every child and youth with special needs has access to KidsAbility’s exceptional services.
Donna Kuppers (Treasurer) is the co-founder of Kuppers & Company Chartered Accountants and JDK Management Services Inc. For the past 15 years she has managed these practices while providing accounting, tax and small business coaching to their clients. Prior to this Donna was the Vice President of Finance for a large local privately held distribution company. Donna has recently embarked on a teaching endeavour as a part-time Professor of Accounting at Conestoga College. Donna is a Chartered Professional Accountant (CPA), Chartered Accountant (CA) and Certified Coach. She is currently enrolled in the Not-for-Profit Certificate Program through Chartered Professional Accountants Canada. Donna has volunteered for a variety of organizations including Zonta Club of K-W, Kitchener Minor Hockey, and Parent Council at MacGregor Senior Public School. She is a native of Toronto and Business graduate from Wilfrid Laurier University. Donna lives in Kitchener with her husband Kevin and has two boys Justin and James.
Kate MacDonald (Secretary) is a mediator with MacDonald Mediation Inc., specializing in resolution of insurance related matters. She was called to the Ontario Bar in 1987 and is a graduate of Dalhousie Law School and attended the Advanced Mediation training at the Harvard Negotiation Institute, Cambridge, Mass. Kate served as an executive on the Board of Directors of the Guelph Synchronized Swim Club for 5 years and is the President of the Mayfield Park Community Association. Kate lives in Guelph with her husband and two daughters.
Todd Aitchison is a Commercial Insurance Specialist with Josslin Insurance Brokers of Waterloo Region, joining the brokerage with his CIP Designation in 2008. Todd Graduated with a BBA from Northwood University in Midland Michigan in 2000. His years of building relationships within the community, both for business and volunteerism, started when he became a member of The Kitchener-Westmount Rotary Club in 2003. Todd served as President of the Kitchener-Westmount Club in 2013-2014 and then went on to the District level as Assistant District Governor 2015-2018. Todd remains an active Rotarian and has also volunteered on Charity Golf Tournament Committees for Women’s Crisis Services of Waterloo Region and Carizon Family & Community Services. Todd resides in Waterloo with his wife Jennifer Weishuhn and they have two beautiful daughters, Tanner and Brier, who are very active in competitive dance.
Suk Bedi has over 15+ years of experience analyzing
and assessing business strategies and related business processes and systems to
help management understand and address business objectives, requirements,
risks, controls, and improvement opportunities.
He serves a variety of organizations including not for profit, education
and government institutions. Suk spent
seven years as an internal audit director for ten (10) school boards in South
Western Ontario where led internal audit team members in helping leadership and
audit committees address operational, financial and student risks. Suk has taught at Wilfrid Laurier University on a full time and part time basis. He knows how fulfilling it is to be able to develop students’ abilities/skills and shape the future generations of kids. Suk is a Certified Internal Auditor and holds a Certification in Risk Management Assurance. Suk lives in Waterloo with his wife and two kids and enjoys spending time with family and the outdoors.
Shankha Bhattacharyya - bio coming soon.
Dave Brune is currently a Vice President and Portfolio Manager at the RaeLipskie Partnership, a private wealth management firm located in Waterloo. He has been with the firm for three years, having previously been a Portfolio Manager at CIBC Wood Gundy. Dave is a graduate of the University of Waterloo with an Honours BA in Rhetoric and Professional Writing. He is also a Certified Financial Planner (CFP) and a CFA Charterholder, having attained the designation in 2014. Dave lives in Kitchener with his wife and son. What inspired me to join was the birth of my son where I went to Kidsability to get his hearing test. After doing some more research, I was exposed to all the wonderful breadth of work that KidsAbility does for children. It was very much an eye-opening experience and one that inspired me to join so I could help in anyway I could.
Wayne Chang is currently a Vice President at KPMG Corporate Finance, where he provides broad range of financial advisory services to his clients, including sell-side M&A, buy-side due diligence and capital advisory. He has a deep understanding of accounting, business valuations, corporate finance and financial consulting services. Wayne graduated from the University of Waterloo. He holds a Master's degree in Accounting and a Bachelor's degree in Mathematics. Wayne is a Chartered Professional Accountant (CPA), a Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) Charterholder, and a Chartered Business Valuator (CBV). During his time in university, Wayne was a math instructor at Grand River Chinese School, where he had the opportunity to facilitate classrooms of 15 to 20 young students. In this role, Wayne saw so much potential in his students. When Wayne had the opportunity to contribute back to the local community as a Director on KidsAbility Foundation’s board, he seized the opportunity to support the organization’s mission to help youth with special needs realize their full potential.
Leslie Doherty is a graduate of Dalhousie University, B.A. and Dalhousie Weldon School of Law, LLB. She has engaged in the private practice of law, served as Adjudicator for the Board of Inquiry, Police Services Act, Ontario, and most recently and for many years has acted as a prosecutor of criminal law as an Assistant Crown Attorney, Ministry of the Attorney General, Ontario and as an Agent for The Public Prosecution Service of Canada. Leslie has been actively involved and held leadership positions in many charitable organizations including Board member, Participation House, Brantford; Board member and Fundraising Chair, Library and Gallery, Cambridge; Board member and Chair of various committees for The Cambridge and North Dumfries Community Foundation, among others, as well as numerous school and community organizations and committees. Leslie lives in Cambridge with her husband and fellow lawyer, John, and has a son and a daughter, both well launched.
Sue Hallman has been involved with many charities including YWCA, St Mary’s Hospital, Grand River Hospital, Lyle S Hallman Foundation and Strong Start. She loves facilitating her Senior Group at her church. Sue is a member and is on the programming committee for Twin City Probus. Over the past 20 years Sue has devoted many hours to KidsAbility serving on the Foundation and Centre Boards, as well as volunteering in the classroom. Sue is very proud to have introduced Strong Start to KidsAbility School four years ago, where she has been the coordinator since its inception. Sue and her husband Jim love to travel, alone or with their travel group. Their claim to fame is a motorcycle journey across North America over a course of 6 years, putting on 60,000 km on the bike. In her spare time, Sue enjoys reading, walking, exercising, golfing in the summer, curling in the winter and spending as much time as possible at her cottage.
Alex Kinsella is the owner of Kinsella Marketing Inc, a writing and content marketing agency based in Kitchener. Before starting the agency, Alex worked in product management, public relations, and marketing roles at BlackBerry, Thalmic Labs, and Communitech. He is also the brains behind the TL;WR newsletter – Waterloo Region’s weekly events newsletter. Alex is a graduate of Florida State University with a BS in Russian and Eastern European Studies. In 2017, he completed the Ivey Leadership Program at the Ivey Business School at Western University. Alex lives in Kitchener with his wife and three daughters – two of whom benefited from KidsAbility’s fantastic team. It was those interactions that inspired Alex to get more involved with KidsAbility Foundation’s mission.
Jennifer Roggemann has practiced Canadian Immigration law for more than 20 years in Kitchener, Ontario, helping people to choose where they wish to belong. Originally, she came to Canada as a teenager from South Korea, with no English. After completing her Bachelor of Arts at the University of Guelph, and receiving her law degree from the University of Victoria, she has settled in Kitchener, Ontario where her spouse, John, resided. She has twins graduating high school in June 2020. One of her twins has autism, and received much needed assistance from KidsAbility between 2005 and 2008. Supporting children with or without a disability to reach the impossible, is her life passion, along with her Christian faith.
Eric Strassburger is a Wealth Advisor with BMO Nesbitt Burns in Waterloo. For the past 20+ years he has provided Investment, Retirement and Estate Planning advice to a select group of clients in Southwestern Ontario. In addition to volunteering his time with KidsAbility, he also serves on the Board of Directors with The House of Friendship. In the past he has served on Boards with The Kitchener-Waterloo Community Foundation, Big Brothers Big Sisters of Waterloo Region and St. Peter’s Lutheran Church in Kitchener. Eric is a graduate of Wilfrid Laurier University with a B.A. in Economics. When he's not at advising clients, volunteering in the community or coaching hockey, he enjoys spending time with his wife and his two sons.
Peter Haney (Board Chair, KidsAbility) is a retired lawyer, having practiced law for over 30 years at a local law firm. Peter was born and raised in Kitchener-Waterloo and completed his undergraduate degree at Wilfrid Laurier University before leaving town for law school. Peter was first introduced to KidsAbility in the 1970s when he was a high school student at Kitchener Collegiate. At that time, he volunteered at the Rotary Centre School where his mother, Elaine, was a long-time employee. It was through that experience that he learned of the importance of the organization's role and dramatic impact on the lives of the children and families it serves. Peter resides in Waterloo with his spouse. They have three adult children.