Seeking new members! You can make a difference for local young victims and their families. Learn about the opportunity and email [email protected] today.
We are led by a wonderful group of individuals with various backgrounds who provide governance, guidance and support. We are extremely grateful for their gifts of time and dedication.
Kendra Abraham – Director
Kendra Abraham is the General Manager of Finance at Toyota Motor Manufacturing Canada (TMMC). Prior to this role, she spent several years working in Human Resources providing her with a well-balanced outlook which she applies to both her personal and professional life. Kendra is a Certified Professional Accountant (CPA) and holds a Master of Business degree from Wilfred Laurier University.
Kendra joined our Board in 2023 and is a member of the Human Resources Committee.
When not working, Kendra enjoys travelling and watching her children play soccer.
Mallory Allan – Director
Mallory Allan joined the Child Witness Centre’s Board of Directors in 2021. She is also a member of the HR/Nominations Committee. Given her experience in the Child Witness Program at a young age, Mallory is passionate about supporting the Centre’s advocacy for children and youth.
Mallory is a recent graduate of Windsor Law, where she received the Dean’s Excellence Award for her contributions to the Windsor Law community. She completed her undergraduate degree in Industrial & Labour Relations at McGill University. Currently, she is completing her articles at a prominent labour & employment law firm.
Prior to graduating from law school, Mallory worked as a summer law student for an insurance defense law firm as well as the University of Windsor’s Legal Department. During her undergraduate studies, she worked as a legal assistant. In her free time, she enjoys travelling, staying active and taking on new DIY projects. Click here to view Mallory’s LinkedIn profile.
Bernadette Behm – Board Chair
Bernadette Behm is the Board Chair, effective January 1, 2021. She 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 in 2019.
Tomas Blazejowski – Director
Tomas is a mergers & acquisitions, and venture capital professional. His experience and training equip him to excel as Corporate Development & Venture Director at The Co-operators, which he joined in 2014. Prior to this role, Tomas worked as an Investment Banker. He is an Honours Business Administration graduate from the Richard Ivey School of Business, class of 2007.
When not working, Tomas enjoys spending time with family and friends, staying active, and going on adventurous trips.
Tomas joined Child Witness Centre’s Board of Directors in October 2021 and will be part of the Governance Committee. Click here to view Tomas’ LinkedIn profile.
Lisa DeBaets – Director
Lisa is the Chief Product Owner for Plan Member Experience at Manulife Financial and has been with Manulife for 31 years where she has held a variety of project management and leadership roles.
Lisa is married with three adult daughters and has a bulldog named Charlie. Lisa was a member of the Women’s Crisis Service of Waterloo Region board and served as Secretary for one year. Lisa loves to stay active and enjoys playing golf in the summer months.
Alexis De Leon – Director
Alexis is a Finance Manager, Gift Processing and Records for Alumni Affairs and Development at the University of Guelph. His connection with the University began as a student, earning a BSc in Human Kinetics, and Nutrition and Nutraceutical Sciences. Sticking to his University of Guelph roots, Alexis then completed his MBA, specializing in Food and Agribusiness. As an avid learner, Alexis is continuing his studies to pursue a CPA designation. Recently, Alexis was also a recipient of the Rising Star Award from the Canadian Council for the Advancement of Education (CCAE).
Alexis recently moved with his young family from Guelph to Kitchener. He is eager to learn more about Kitchener and surrounding areas and find meaningful ways to give back to the community. Click here to view Alexis’ LinkedIn profile.
Matthew Demarte – Director
Matt has been with the Waterloo Regional Police Service since 2004 and has worked in various investigative units. He has worked with vulnerable youths during his time in both the Intimate Partner Violence Unit and the Human Trafficking Unit and has seen the CWC for the valuable resource that it is. Matt looks forward to supporting the amazing work that CWC will continue to do for those who need it.
Paula Fecteau – Secretary
Paula retired in 2011 from a career as a lawyer in the Law Department of Mutual Life of Canada / Clarica Life Insurance Company / Sun Life Financial. In that role, she worked on a wide variety of corporate matters and projects, including IT, investments, human resources, tax, and pension and benefits. Originally from Midland, ON, Paula has been a resident of Kitchener-Waterloo almost all of her adult life. Her two adult children and grandchildren also live in K-W.
Paula served on the Board of Women’s Crisis Services of Waterloo Region for a number of years, and she welcomes the opportunity to continue to serve the children of our region as part of our Board.
Paula enjoys spending time with her grandchildren and at her cottage in the Midland area.
Lisa Goertz – Director
Lisa 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 our Board in 2018 and is part of the Finance Committee.
Reid Pridham – Director
Reid Pridham has over 25 years of service experience through roles teaching ESL abroad, TD Canada Trust, The Stratford Festival of Canada and with the Waterloo Regional Police Service. Since 2007 Reid has held positions as Constable in the capacities of patrol and Community Engagement (formerly Community Resources) providing a collaborative based effort of wraparound support and situation resolution for community members experiencing chronic and/or acute crisis.
Reid graduated from Wilfrid Laurier University, obtaining Bachelor degrees in both history and philosophy.
Reid lives in Kitchener with his family. He has experience volunteering with youth through Kitchener Minor Baseball Association, Waterloo Minor Girls Softball Association and Scouts Canada.
Dianne Romano – Director
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 profile.
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 profile.
Ryan Selves – Treasurer
Ryan is a Wilfrid Laurier University Graduate who moved to Waterloo for school and never left! He’s been with BDO Canada since his graduation, he works in the Assurance and Accounting department. Ryan has a strong interest in the Charity and Not-For-Profit world, he spends about 40% of his working hours servicing NPO’s and Charities within the Waterloo Region.
When he is not working, Ryan and his wife like to spend as much time as possible with friends and family and with their retired greyhound Kat. They also enjoy attempting to develop their “green thumbs”.
Ryan has been part of the finance committee of CWC since December of 2019.
Chris Warden – Director
Chris is a seasoned sales leader with 18 years’ experience in the Tech sector. Chris joined Magnet Forensics in 2012 and has held various sales and executive leadership positions focusing on their global business. In his current role, Chris is responsible for sales strategy and revenue growth for the Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA) region. Prior to joining Magnet Forensics, Chris held various sales positions on the Verizon Business Unit at BlackBerry as well as IKON Office Solutions. Chris holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from Wilfrid Laurier University and a Diploma in Business Management from George Brown College.
Away from work, Chris is an avid golfer and enjoys travelling. He lives in the Kitchener-Waterloo area with his wife, two daughters and their Labrador Retriever.
Chris joined the Child Witness Centre board in 2021 and is part of the Finance, Risk and Audit Committee. Click here to view Chris’ LinkedIn profile.