Our dedicated volunteer Board of Directors are representatives of our community who share their skills, knowledge and experience. The Board is committed to quality services and operates on a customized policy governance model. Governing the agency with strategic oversight, they monitor accountability on behalf of clients and the public while meeting our funder’s requirements.
They ensure our vision, values and mission are met.
2019-2020 Board of Directors
Nick Forte, President
Nick joined our Board in 2013 while working at the London District Catholic School Board. After graduating from the University of Western Ontario, he contributes over 31 years of vast experiences in the education field and advocating as a parent of a Special Needs Adult son. Nick is a recently retired teacher, was a member of the Governing Council for the Ontario College of Teachers as well as Chairperson of the Investigations Committee and Standards of Practice and Education Committee. Previously Nick served as a parent representative on the Parent Advisory Committee for the Child and Parent Resource Institute (CPRI). All of these opportunities have strengthened Nick’s skillset in governance with our Agency.
Peter Roach, Vice President
Peter has been using his leadership, governance, and business experience to compliment the Board of Family Services Perth-Huron as Vice-President.
Randy Brown, Secretary
Randy received his Bachelor of Commerce with Honours from the University of Windsor and subsequently achieved his CPA. He retired in 2013 from the Perth District Health Unit where he was the Business Administrator for 26 years, having had day to day responsibility for finance and accounting, labour relations, technology and computer networks and premises. He routinely reported on such matters to their Board and brings a great wealth of administrative and financial expertise to our Board of Directors.
Dawne Boersen, Board Member
Dawne brings to Family Services Perth-Huron a strong background in Education. Dawne currently works at the Huron-Perth Catholic District School Board as the Superintendent of Education and has held roles as an elementary teacher, Coordinator of Curriculum and elementary school principal in her over 28 years with the Catholic school board. Dawne was involved in improvement planning and strategic planning for several years and let the implementation of early literacy instruction. As a Superintendent of schools, she is very aware of the importance of well-being of the families in our community on the development of children, especially those with disabilities. Dawne feels a strong connection to her community and the families residing in it. Dawne and her husband operate a dairy farm in Perth-East with their children.
Jennifer Knechtel, Board Member
Jennifer has her Honours Bachelor of Commerce from McMaster University and currently works at Wilfrid Laurier University in the Library as the Senior Administrative Officer. Jennifer has a very strong sense of group facilitation and governance in both public and private sectors. Her commitment to her community also shines through with her strong volunteer work.
Gary Austin, Board Member
Professionally, Gary has over 30 years of teaching and psychological based work in the public school system, health care system and private practice. As a member of the London Court Clinicc, he was director of the London Custody and Access Project for 10 years. As a resident of St. Marys since 2002, he chaired the Public Library for 4 years and developed its first strategic plan. He was a member and president of the St. Marys Community Players board, has authored many successful grant applications for them and continues techinical work for their productions. He is also the founder of the Men’s Group in London Ontario which has continued since 1991.
Clive Slade, Board Member
Clive is a vibrant, experienced and trusted Banker with over 25 year’s international banking experience in both Canada and the United Kingdom. While working and living in the UK Clive meet a wonderful Canadian girl called Andy; she bought him back to her home country, Canada. Presently a Commercial Account Manager in Huron Perth, Clive has been a Branch Manager for the flagship branch, London Main. A Regional Sales Coach and previous to that a Branch Manager in Stratford Main and St Marys (his home). Clive and Andy have two wonderful boys Alex and Owen and a dog, Harry. Clive believes in supporting and giving back to the community. Clive is active in charitable support through donation of time by volunteering and two board appointments; ‘Town of St Marys Committee of Adjustments’ and ‘Stratford & Perth County Family Services’. For fun Clive enjoys rugby, referring, playing and coaching.
Annette Biasin, Board Member
With a strong interest in finances, Annette has been employed in the Manufacturing field and for over 19 years and completed her CPA and CGA during that time to open the doors to her financial career within that same company at Dyna-Mig . Annette was born and raised in Stratford and has knowledge of many community resources and programs running in the city with the desire to give back to the community, contribute to the Agency and our clients.
Don Campbell, Board Member
With an education background in rural communities, once Don retired in 2016, he and his wife moved to Stratford looking to settle in and be an active part of the community. He currently works as a Supervisor at the Stratford Festival in the area of Food and Drink. Don was an elementary school teacher for 22 years and an elementary school principal for 8.5 years. He also shares his wealth of knowledge and experiences with the Huron-Perth Children’s Aid Society Board of Directors and feels that as people and families are strong, they have more success and the community as a whole can benefit.
Charles Swartwood, Board Member
Charles joined our Board in 2018. He has been a senior pastor for over 40 years. His board experience includes internal governance, committee work while serving on The Council of Churches Executive, the Stratford Concert Band Executive as well as serving Teen Challenge Canada and the Huron Perth Centre for Youth Board of Directors. Charles and his wife raised 2 sons in Stratford, while serving his church community, supporting the community of Stratford and area. Charles is a passionate and strong advocate to ensure services are in place for vulnerable persons living within the community.
Susan Melkert, Executive Director – Exofficio