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Board & Executive Team

Executive Team

  • Kelly Simpson, Executive Director
  • Indu Radhakrishnan, Chief Human Resources Officer
  • Rachel Stack, Director of Strategy & Quality
  • Misty Gray, Director of Clinical Services
  • Chitra Gnanasabesan, Clinical Director
  • Tonia Crittenden, Director of Clinical Services
  • Sherri Simms, Executive Assistant

Board of Directors

Sally Zandri, Board Chair

Sally Zandri is passionate about improving the lives of children and families through exceptional mental health care. She has held leadership positions within The May Court Club of London, being a member for over 30 years. May Court’s commitment to Vanier Services continues after 50 years of financial and community support. As a past president and board member of May Court, she has been aware and invested in the continued success of Vanier.

Sally also brings healthcare managerial experience from working more than thirty years at LHSC before recently retiring. Working for a charity and a healthcare organization has allowed her to view Vanier and its challenges from 2 different lenses and bring ideas and support to the Board.

Being nominated to serve on the Vanier Children’s Services Board is an honour, personally and as part of a longstanding partnership with The May Court of London.

Tara Sanders, Co-Vice Chair

Tara Sanders of London has a long history of accessing community resources for her son, so she is very excited to bring a parent’s perspective to the Board at Vanier.   She holds a business degree as well as different Insurance designations.  She began her career in Personal Insurance, working as a Senior Underwriter and later teaching for the Insurance Institute of Canada.  Tara now devotes her time to assisting families advocate for their own children that struggle with mental health.

Paul Levac, Secretary

Paul Levac of London has over 30 years of experience in the Education Sector.  Paul has held various positions such as Teacher, Department Head, Principal as well as Superintendent of Education. He has been employed by the French Language Health Planning Entity Erie St. Clair\Sud-Ouest since 2017 as a Planning Officer and as the Interim Executive Director since July 2020.

He holds a Bachelor’s degree in Law and Justice, a diploma in Public Administration including a Teaching Certificate from Laurentian University, and a Master’s degree in Arts, Political Science, and Judicial Administration from Brock University.

Born and raised in Sturgeon Falls, Ontario Paul has been residing in London since 1991. Paul brings to the Board his knowledge of the school environment, his understanding of special needs including rehabilitation and mental health and wellness.

Meredith McEwan, Co-Vice Chair

Meredith McEwan is a Continuous Improvement Specialist at Libro Credit Union, where she has worked since 2015. Her experiences at this community-focused organization expanded her desire to give back to the community and encouraged her to find ways to do so.

In 2017, she graduated from McMaster University with an Honours Bachelor of Science Degree in Life Sciences, minoring in Psychology. She also holds a Graduate Diploma in Applied Health Sciences from Western University. Growing up in Goderich Ontario, she volunteered in multiple capacities in the Public Health field. This and other experiences lead to her passion for mental health awareness and health promotion. While she does not currently work in the health field, she hopes to use her passion, continuous improvement mindset, and leadership aspirations to create a positive impact on Vanier and the community it serves.

Jesse Francis, Treasurer

I grew up in London and stayed here my whole life, graduating from Western in 2014 where I was a member of the Men’s Varsity Football and Track & Field teams.

Coming out of school I started working right away in public accounting and received my CPA designation in 2018. I joined Marcus & Associates in 2019 where I work with owner-managed businesses and professional clients to help them minimize taxes and maximize profits.

Brian Sim-Little

Brian Sim-Little grew up in the Ottawa valley and moved to London for school and has lived here ever since with his wife and son. He has worked in human services for over 25 years, 20 of those in the charitable sector.  He has held a variety of leadership positions in the disability, health, and social service sectors and has volunteered with a number of local NFP organizations.  He holds both, MBA and CPA designations.  He is excited about the opportunity to contribute to Vanier’s mission.

Krista Vogt

Dr. Krista Vogt has been working in the post-secondary sector for over 20 years. Her passion is working with youth through their transition to adulthood. Krista has worked as a teacher, overseas and in BC and has held positions involved in student leadership development, academic advising, and international exchanges. Krista is currently a Senior Associate Registrar at Fanshawe College. A strong advocate of mental wellness, Krista has developed campus-wide mental health strategies and works to integrate mental wellness into college policy and practice. Krista holds a Master’s degree from Simon Fraser University and earned her Ph.D. in Education from the University of Toronto. Originally from Edmonton, Alberta, Krista has been living in London since 2005 with her husband and two children. This is Krista’s first board experience and she is eager to learn and contribute.

Chelsea Johnson

Chelsea Johnson was born and raised in London ON and spent the past 8 years of her career working in social service and recreation sectors. Shortly after obtaining her Bachelor of Arts Degree in Sociology from McMaster University, she returned to London where she found her passion for supporting the community she was raised in through various roles in the non-profit sector. Most recently, Chelsea has gone back to school to obtain her post-graduate certification in Human Resource Management with the goal of obtaining her CHRP. With her desire to enact change in the community, she has recently started a career in Human Resources, in the capacity of  Corporate Social Responsibility, with a focus on Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion. Chelsea has lived family experience with children’s mental wellness and is proud to be part of the Board of Directors at Vanier.

Zoe Ritchie

Zoe Ritchie is a recently returned Londoner and Ph.D. student within the Faculty of Health Sciences at Western University. Her research focuses on developing best practices to navigate legal and ethical challenges in clinical pediatric care. She holds membership in the Canadian Bioethics Society and the American Society for Bioethics and Humanities. Professional experiences in government and the wider public affairs sector, during her time living in Toronto, fuel her passion for creating communities that are responsive to the needs of children and their families. She feels privileged to have the opportunity to learn from Vanier’s service users and contribute to the future direction of the organization. 

Ela Smith

Aanii, My name is Gee waniiway eekwe (Whirling wind woman).  I am bear clan displaced through colonization.  I am a graduate of an Early Childhood Education Diploma, Bachelor of Arts Degree and a Master of Social Work, Indigenous Field of Study.  Much of my career has focused on working within mental health and advocacy. I have worked as Executive Director at White Owl Native Ancestry, Program Director at Ontario Federation of Indigenous Friendship Centers, as well as an Indigenous Curriculum Development Specialist.  I work from a wholistic trauma-informed pedagogical perspective that works to empower people to critically reflect on how their practice impacts the world. 

I am a full-time faculty member in the School of Community Studies at Fanshawe College and sessional faculty with the University of Toronto in the Indigenous Trauma and Resilience MSW program where I continue to demonstrate my passion for equity and anti-racist practice.    I currently the chair of the Ontario Association of Children’s Aid Societies Board of Governors impacting change from a provincial focus for First Nations, Metis, and Inuit children and families within child welfare.

I have joined the board of Vanier to continue the wholistic work that this organization has committed to provide to children, youth, and their families.  I am also an adoptive parent.  My son who is now 30 years young manages the implications of fetal alcohol exposure.  He has taught me infinite courage and that advocacy is a survival skill.  The best advice I have been given is “Do the best you can, until you know better.  When you know better, do better.” Maya Angelou

This quote reminds me that although I have regrets, I can now utilize this experience and knowledge to make the future better.

Greg Lavoie

Greg Lavoie attended the University of Windsor where he received his undergraduate degree and his Bachelor of Education. He taught in Europe upon his graduation and moved to London after his return to Canada. He is bilingual and spent 10 years working for the French Catholic School Board in London and is currently employed as a Principal with the Thames Valley District School Board.

Greg has previous experience working as a member of a board of directors of a children’s mental health organization and brings with him a thorough understanding of the educational system and the challenges that today’s youth are facing.

Born in Belle River Ontario, Greg now lives in Old South with his wife and 3 school aged children.

Bayly Guslits

Bayly is a born and raised Londoner. Bayly completed her BA in International Relations and MA in Political Science at Western University. After spending a few years away in Ottawa for law school, she returned to London to work as a Family and Child Protection Lawyer with Harrison Pensa LLP. Bayly is a passionate advocate for children’s mental health and family wellness. She is an active member of her synagogue and involved with the Middlesex Family Law Association. Bayly is excited and energized to be giving back to the community with Vanier’s innovative team.

Mariana Peres Toledo

Mariana Peres Toledo was born in Brazil and immigrated to Canada in 2012. Mariana completed her B.A. in Economics at Carleton University in 2015 and her Civil and Common Law Degree at McGill University in 2018. She lived in the Provinces of Quebec, New Brunswick and has settled in Ontario when she started working as a Personal Injury lawyer with Siskinds LLP in 2020. Since her arrival in London, Mariana has been treated with kindness and has been well supported by the London community. By joining Vanier, Mariana hopes to give back to the community. Proud and thankful for being part of Vanier’s Board of Director, Mariana is excited to learn with the Vanier community and contribute to Vanier’s inspiring mission.

Contact:

If you would like to contact the Vanier Board of Directors please email Vanier Board.

If your inquiry is with respect to operations, please contact the Executive Director.

How to Contact Us

Address
871 Trafalgar Street
London ON
N5Z 1E6

Phone
519.433.3101

Tandem
519.433.0334

Fax
519.433.1302

Email
[email protected]

Registered Charity Number
107653321RR0001

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