Our Board and Leadership Team

Board of Directors

Pheroze Jeejeebhoy, Chair

Pheroze Jeejeebhoy is a lawyer practicing in Hamilton, Ontario. He began his tenure on the Lynwood Charlton’s Board of Directors in 2014, and is the Board’s Treasurer. As a lawyer, Pheroze has represented many injured and disabled children before the courts in Ontario. Through this advocacy, he has developed a keen awareness of the challenges facing children and their families when trying to access mental health services in Ontario, as well as an interest in ensuring the availability of appropriate services for children.

Ghanwa Afach, Secretary

Ghanwa Afach has been employed at the Social Planning and Research Council of Hamilton since 2010, where she is actively engaged in the Hamilton Community Action Program for Children (CAPC), which provides supports for families with children aged newborn to six in east Hamilton. Her work also focuses on Health Canada’s three priorities, including Mental Health Promotion, Injury Prevention, and Healthy Weights.

Kim Laush, Treasurer

Kim Ann Laush, has worked at Mohawk College since 2003, in a variety of capacities. She teaches in both the Educational Support and Child and Youth Care programs. Kim Ann is also the coordinator for the Educational Support program, Educational Support Intensive program, and is the Field Placement Coordinator for the Child and Youth Care program. Most recently, she has been in the role of acting Associate Dean, Department of Community Studies. Kim Ann has a BA in Social Development Studies from the University of Waterloo, BEd from York University (primary/junior qualifications), and a Master of Education from Nipissing. Prior to working at Mohawk College, Kim Ann worked in children’s mental health, custody for youth, and taught in both the Grand Erie School Board, and the Waterloo Region District School board. Kim Ann has a passion for teaching and life long learning. She plans to continue her education by obtaining a Doctorate in Education.

Leila Ryan, Board Member

Leila Ryan has served in leadership roles on a number of health and social service boards, among them the Big Sisters’ Association, Hillfield-Strathallan College, St. Peter’s Hospital, the Hamilton-Wentworth District Health Council, Contact Hamilton and the Hamilton Community Foundation. She is a retired academic and is currently a member of the Hamilton Roundtable for Poverty Reduction and the Board of the Hamilton Family Health Team of which she is the Past-Chair.

Ruth Pickering, Board Member

Dr. Ruth Pickering is a retired Child Psychiatrist and Narrative Therapist who has worked for over 40 years with the most troubled children and youth in the children’s services sector. Ruth is the volunteer Founding Director of Under the Willows, a garden-based arts garden play summer program for children that is hosted at Lynwood Charlton Centre. Ruth is an avid supporter of community-based arts programs for these and other marginalized children and youth. Ruth has served on the Board of Directors for over 20 years.

Dan Banko, Board Member

Dan Banko is the senior partner and creative director at Banko Creative Studio, owner and CEO of Orchestrated Development Inc., and owner of Little Blue House Coffee Co. He has a talent for seeing potential and connecting with people and over the last twenty years has served the communities of Hamilton, Burlington, Brantford and Brant County through a variety of volunteer initiatives. Dan helps small businesses, large corporations, and non-profit organizations from across North America solve their unique business problems with strategic, captivating and creative storytelling. Dan has a BA Honours in Art from McMaster University and a BEd from Brock.

Leadership Team

  • Lisa Whittaker, B.A. M.Ed., M.Sc, Executive Director
  • Michelle Hayes, M.S.W., R.S.W., D.C.Psych(s), Senior Director, Systems Planning
  • Senior Director of Programs – COMING SOON
  • Senior Director of Finance, HR and Administration – COMING SOON
  • Nicole Karki, Clinical Director and Pediatric Nurse Practitioner
  • Lynn Vanderbrug, Senior Manager of Community-Based Services
  • Nicole Edwards, Manager of Community-Based Programs
  • Shari Burke, Manager of Lynwood Hall Program
  • Collette Corman, Manager of Forest Program
  • Apryll MacAuley, Manager of Flamborough Program
  • Sheri Terry, Manager of Charlton Hall Program

Board of Directors’ Value Statements

The following values statements will guide the work of the organization:

Person Strength: The Centre recognizes that every child, youth, and family member, staff member and Board member have unique strength. The Centre values their contributions.

Service Strength: Service is driven by children, youth and families and accompanied by evidence-informed practices that are subject to a process of continuous quality improvement. The Centre’s services are innovative, respond to the unique needs of the community and complement Hamilton’s spectrum of mental health services for children
and youth.

Organizational Strength: The Centre promotes personal and organizational wellness and values the unique contribution and full participation of a diverse workforce. The Centre
fosters a work environment that encourages personal and professional efficacy and work-life balance. Board and staff are accountable for acting responsibly and strategically in assessing decisions which affect the stability and future of the organization.

System Strength: The Centre is connected to, and works collaboratively with, a larger spectrum of services designed to support the healthy development of children, youth and their families. Internally, services to children, youth and families are responsive to their voices and integrated at all levels of service delivery.

Philosophical Statement

Children and youth have a right to early intervention and innovative supports to assist in their positive cognitive growth, emotional well-being, and relationship development. Children, youth, their families and caregivers benefit from supports that strengthen their resilience and their capacity to thrive. When children, youth and their families are fully engaged in service provision and system planning, services are most meaningful and impactful.