- Lisa Allen – Board Chair
- Bernadette Behm – Director
- Melissa Crowley – Director
- Sloden Lackovic – Director
- Jean Markovich – Director
- Kelly McLachlin – Director
- Laura Park – Secretary
- Lisa Penfound – Vice-Chair
- Olivia Rogalla – Director
- Dianne Romano – Treasurer
- Alice Schmidt Hanbidge – Director
- Sharon Seifried – Director
- Laura Shoemaker – Director
- Doug Tyson – Director
Lisa Allen, Board Chair
Lisa Allen is the Chair of the Board of Directors for the Child Witness Centre. Lisa was matched with Child Witness Centre via Manulife’s Board Matching Program through Capacity Canada. She recently retired after almost 30 years in the financial services industry. In her career she had the opportunity to lead hundreds of fabulous people across a diverse set of financial products and technical platforms.
Lisa has volunteered in the community supporting youth teams, schools and community programs. She has been privileged to be a member of the CWC board since April 2015 and the Chair since June 2017.
“Hope is stronger than despair.” -Henri J.M. Nouwen, is a quote Lisa looks to for inspiration. Click here to view Lisa’s LinkedIn.
Bernadette Behm, Director
Bernadette Behm is a Realtor with Davenport Realty Brokerage. Prior to becoming a Realtor she was employed with Raytheon Canada Ltd. She spent more than 30 years with Raytheon holding various positions including managing a large manufacturing group. Bernadette has lived and worked in Kitchener-Waterloo her entire life and has raised her family here. Having completed two terms on The Board of Directors for Conestoga College and volunteering for The Heart and Stroke Research, she was eager to find meaningful work where she could give back to her community, which led her to join the Board of Directors for the Child Witness Centre.
Melissa Crowley, Director
Melissa Crowley attended the University of Toronto and obtained her Honours Bachelor of Arts degree in 2009. Melissa then obtained her law degree from the Faculty of Law at the University of Windsor in 2013 and was called to the Bar of Ontario in 2014. Melissa initially began her legal practice in the area of criminal law. For the past five years, her practice has primarily been focused in the area of family law. Melissa joined the law firm of Sorbara, Schumacher, McCann in 2019, where she continues to diligently assist families with the legal issues arising out of separation and divorce.
Melissa joined the Child Witness Board in 2019 and is currently a member of the Governance Committee. Melissa is proud to be a supporter of the services provided by the Child Witness Center.
Sloden Lackovic, Director
Sloden Lackovic is a police officer with the Waterloo Regional Police Service where he is currently a Staff Sergeant in the Professional Standards Branch. In the past, Sloden was a school resource officer and worked in the Community Resources Branch.
Sloden has a Bachelor of Arts from Wilfrid Laurier University and was the past president of the Committee of Youth Officers for the Province of Ontario.
Sloden has extensive experience working with youth in the community and currently coaches with Kitchener Minor Hockey and Ball Hockey. Click here to view Sloden’s LinkedIn.
Jean Markovich, Director
Jean received her Honours BA in English and political science from York University in Toronto. Working in financial services for over 25 years, Jean’s experience includes roles in management, sales, marketing and event planning. Jean is also a graduate of Leadership Waterloo Region.
Volunteering has always been important to Jean. For many years she’s supported Junior Achievement Waterloo Region, mentoring high school students in the Company Program and teaching classroom programs on financial literacy. Jean also volunteers with the Community Working Group for Kitchener’s Cycling and Trails Committee.
Jean was honoured to be chosen as a recipient of the inaugural Mayor’s City Builder Award in Kitchener in 2016 in recognition of her contributions to our community.
As a young adult, Jean was called to testify in court. This difficult experience has given her tremendous empathy and compassion for children and youth who are victims or witnesses of crime. This led to her interest in the Child Witness Centre where she became a board member in January 2017. Click here to view Jean’s LinkedIn.
Laura Park, Board Secretary
Laura Park has spent 19 years in financial services in a variety of leadership roles and is currently a project manager at Sun Life Financial.
Laura completed a Ph.D. from Carleton University in 2000 and her dissertation focused on Examining developmentally appropriate methods of eliciting accurate testimony from children on the witness stand. She joined the Child Witness Centre in 2016 to bring her business skills and knowledge from her dissertation to an organization that supports young people in our community who may need to testify in court. She has served on several Board committees and holds the position of Board Secretary. Click here to view Laura’s LinkedIn.
Lisa Penfound, Vice Chair
Lisa Penfound attended Wilfrid Laurier University in the Business Administration co-op program and obtained her Bachelor of Business Administration degree in 2007.
Lisa began her career with Deloitte and achieved her designation as a Chartered Accountant in 2009. Lisa joined the Corporate Finance department at The Co-operators head office in Guelph in 2010 where she has worked on financial reporting and analysis, technical accounting issue assessments and project management. Lisa joined the Child Witness Board in 2018 and is part of the Finance Committee. Click here to view Lisa’s LinkedIn.
Dianne Romano, Treasurer
Dianne Romano joined CWC’s Board of Directors in 2017. When she retired in 2011 from Sun Life Assurance Company of Canada, she was a Vice-President in the Corporate Tax department. She began her career and obtained her designation with PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP, and spent several years working for Mutual Life of Canada/Clarica Life Insurance Company/Sun Life Assurance Company of Canada.
Dianne is also on the Board of Directors of Habitat for Humanity, Waterloo Region and Fiduciary Trust Company of Canada. In the past she also served on the Board of Directors of Women’s Crisis Services of Waterloo Region and the Victoria Order of Nurses for Waterloo and Wellington Counties.
Dianne and her son operate a farm in Wilmot Township. She spends her spare time with her three grandchildren as well as gardening in her large vegetable garden. Click here to view Dianne’s LinkedIn.
Alice Schmidt Hanbidge, Director
Alice Schmidt Hanbidge is a Registered Social Worker and an Associate Professor in the School of Social Work at Renison University College, University of Waterloo. She combines her extensive social work applied practices of community health within an academic setting to effectively contribute to the advancement of knowledge, research and program delivery.
With over 20 years in non-profit clinical and community social work with children, youth and families, her diverse experiences include working with: adults in both the provincial and federal criminal justice systems; street youth services; child welfare; social work field education; staff and volunteer training programs; fundraising projects and youth social issues theatre.
Alice joined the Child Witness Centre Board of Directors in 2019. Born and raised in the Kitchener-Waterloo community, she is proud to support Child Witness Centre’s programs and services which are closely aligned with her personal values, and to be a strong advocate for children and youth accessing services. Click here to view Alice’s LinkedIn.
Laura Shoemaker, Director
Born and raised in Kitchener-Waterloo, Laura is an avid runner. Laura attended Acadia University where she obtained her Ontario Certified Teachers (OCT) designation. She later completed her Masters and Doctorate in Education at the University of Waterloo. She has been in education for 30 years and is actively involved in Special Olympics. Laura is currently a Superintendent of Learning with the Waterloo Catholic District School Board. Click here to view Laura’s LinkedIn.
Doug Tyson, Director
Doug is the Assistant Vice President, Application Support at Manulife Investments Management division accountable for a globally diverse team. This involves many “keep-the-lights-on activities” such as currency, regulatory changes and disaster planning and execution exercises.
Doug continues learning through his career. Examples including Smith School of Business – Queen’s Executive Programme, Schulich School of Business – Masters Certificate Project Management, Ryerson Polytechnical Institute – Electrical Engineering, and Red River College – Computer, Certificate Digital Circuits and the Digital Computer.
Doug has over 30 years experience working in the technology world with over 25 years leading technology teams.
Doug continues to expand his experience outside of the technology world by volunteerism in his community and through sharing his work experience on the CWC Board. Click here to view Doug’s LinkedIn.