2021-2022 Board of Directors
The Board of Directors is elected to provide overall governance and leadership on behalf of the Kitchener Downtown Community Health Centre (the Health Centre). As a diverse group of volunteers who provide leadership and direction to the organization and accountability to the community, the Board is responsible to:
- Establish and implement the organization’s mission;
- Develop and implement a strategic plan to meet its’ mission;
- Ensure that services and programs are relevant, and that the organization meets its’ legal and financial responsibilities and;
- Engage the Health Centre in the community.
The Board of Directors played a key role when in 2017, the Health Centre received a four-year accreditation and in 2015, was awarded the Board of Excellence Award from Manulife.
The Board of Directors bios are listed below:
Rob Howe, Board Chairperson, currently works within the health care sector as part of Cambridge Memorial Hospital as the Director of Digital Health. Prior to this he has also work at St. Mary’s General Hospital and with the KW4 Ontario Health Team with a focus on Integrated Care. He received his MBA from Wilfrid Laurier University and has previously volunteered on other local boards as well as taught part-time at Conestoga College in the Business Program. Rob is excited to bring his experience in healthcare and board governance together as a member of Kitchener Downtown Community Health Centre Board of Directors since 2020. He currently serves on the Executive and Governance Committees.
Wendy Pratt, Board Vice-Chairperson, currently works as a Human Resources Manager for MacLean Engineering. Previously, Wendy worked for ten years as the Human Resources Director for the House of Friendship, a Waterloo Region based non-profit that provides food, housing, addiction treatment and neighbourhood support to individuals and families on low income. It was there that she gained a working knowledge of the needs of the community in the downtown Kitchener area and some of the unique challenges faced by the health centre. Having volunteer board and committee experience with several LHIN funded agencies, Wendy now brings her expertise to the Board of Directors. Wendy was accepted to the Board of Directors in 2020 and serves on the Executive and Integration Committees.
Amy Sproule-Jones, Secretary, is a Human Resources professional with over 20 years of experience providing support to health care and not-for-profit organizations regarding their HR and labour relations needs and responsibilities. Amy was accepted to the Board of Directors in 2020 and currently serves on the Executive, Governance and Strategic Planning Committees.
Dennis Watson, Treasurer, was an auditor for the Canada Revenue Agency for 35 years until his retirement in 2009. Prior to joining the Board, Dennis was the community member on the Health Centre Finance Committee for almost eight years. Dennis has served his faith community for over thirty years in various volunteer capacities, most notably in the resettlement of new Canadians and in feeding and sheltering those living the experience of homelessness in the Region. As a member of the Board, Dennis is once again able to be part of a team dedicated to building a healthy community. Dennis was accepted to the Board of Directors in 2019 and currently chairs the Finance and Audit Committee and serves on the Executive Committee.
Rosemary McCrie, Member, a CPA and Chartered Director brings her knowledge and experience in corporate governance, strategic transformation, system implementation and risk management gained from 35+ years of combined corporate and board experience. Rosemary currently leads and serves as a board member for Kindred Credit Union and Food Banks Canada where she chairs the Finance and Audit Committee. Rosemary was accepted to the Board of Directors in 2019 and serves on the Governance and Strategic Planning committees.
Martha Knowlton, Member, is a retired elementary principal with the WRDSB. As an educator, she has always displayed an interest in improving the lives of those most vulnerable with whom she has worked. Through breakfast programs, food and clothing drives, finding accommodation, meeting the needs of students and parents and making schools welcoming places to be, Martha has reached out to the various communities where she has worked. For 3 years, Martha was the volunteer coordinator for the Minds In Motion Walk for Mental Health, sponsored by Waterloo Regional Homes. She is also a facilitator for Waterloo Region Self-Management Programs and teaches several online courses for them. Martha was accepted to the Board of Directors in 2019 and currently Chairs the Governance Committee and serves on the Integration Committee.
Mike Nowakowski, Member, MMSc, CRM, CRISC, Manager of Information Systems Security, University of Toronto. Mike sits on the St. Mary’s General Hospital Volunteer Association Board, which provides oversight of the small businesses operating within the hospital. Mike was accepted to the Board of Directors in 2019 and his background in risk management and cyber security make him a welcomed addition. Mike serves on the Finance and Audit Committee.
April G. Postnikoff, Member, is currently a lawyer practicing at Kraemer LLP in downtown Kitchener. For the past 20 years she has practiced in the KW area in the areas of family law, criminal defense (as Duty Counsel) and civil litigation. Before moving to the area, she served on the Board of Directors of Ballet Creole in Toronto, a local dance company. She has also served on the Board of Directors for Our Place, Ontario Early Years Centre. April holds a JD from Northwestern Pritzker School of Law, and a Master’s of Science in Marketing Communications from Roosevelt University. April was accepted to the Board of Directors in 2021 and serves on the Governance Committee.
Lara Shantz, Member, is a Teaching and Learning Consultant with the Waterloo Region District School Board. Her teaching experience has been at the secondary level teaching students who are multilingual learners and new to our system, province and/or country. She now supports the educators of these students and is passionate about culturally and linguistically responsive teaching and trauma informed practices. Lara has worked with many students and families who received much needed care through the Sanctuary Refugee Health Centre and she is honoured to support the work of the amalgamated Community Health Centre. Lara was accepted to the Board of Directors in 2021 and serves on the Finance and Audit Committee.
Maissaa Almustafa, Member, is a Postdoctoral Fellow at Glendon Political Science and a Research Fellow at the Dahdaleh Institute for Global Health Research at York University, Toronto and an Adjunct Professor at the Department of Political Science at Wilfrid Laurier University in Waterloo. Maissaa earned her Ph.D. in Global Governance and Master’s in International Public Policy at the Balsillie School of International Affairs, Wilfrid Laurier University. She completed her B.Sc. in Economics at Damascus University in Syria and worked in the fields of diplomacy and international business development at the British Embassy in Damascus. Her research focuses on displacement and statelessness, refugee protection, and refugees’ lived experiences in the Middle East, Europe, and Canada. Maissaa is actively involved in refugees’ resettlement and integration through her role on the Board at Reception House in Waterloo Region. Maissaa was accepted to the Health Centre Board of Directors in 2021 and serves on the Integration Committee.
Christine Stevanus, Member, Based in Kitchener-Waterloo, Christine is an incredibly dynamic and transformational leader. She is passionate about developing people and organizations. She has a collaborative approach that inspires people to go beyond their perceived capability. In addition to her education in Business Management, Counselling and Peace and Conflict Studies, Christine is certified in Change Management, Lean Process Management, Mediation and is a Certified Coach Practitioner. She has served in leadership roles for the past 25 years, working on comprehensive change projects. Christine is a practical and engaging leader/consultant who asks very purposeful questions that invite imagination and open new possibilities. Christine was accepted to the Board of Directors in 2021 and serves on the Strategic Planning and Finance and Audit Committees.
Kholoud Alkhaledi, Member, was born and raised in Damascus, Syria to a Jerusalemite family. She attained a B. A. in literature from Damascus University, as well as Education Diploma, Faculty of Education, Damascus University. Kholoud came to Canada in 1999. She has experience in accounting; trained for teaching ESL, worked as an interpreter for Reception House working with refugees and has attained an Ontario Interpretation Certificate. She currently works as a free lance interpreter Audio/Video for Medical and Health with LSA, U.S. Kholoud is the proud mother of two young men. Kholoud was accepted to the Board of Directors in 2021 and serves on the Integration and Strategic Planning Committees.
Leia Minaker, Member, is an Assistant Professor in the University of Waterloo’s School of Planning. She holds a PhD in public health (University of Alberta, 2013) and is interested in healthy cities, public health promotion, and health equity. Her research is focused on policies and urban designs that promote urban health. She serves as the Director of Waterloo’s Survey Research Centre. Leia was accepted to the Board of Directors in 2021 and serves on the Governance Committee.