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Board & Executive Team

Executive Team

  • Kelly Simpson, Executive Director
  • Jeff Carter, Director of Quality Improvement
  • Gordon Saylor, Director of Finance & Administration
  • Kathryn Lambert, Director of Clinical Services
  • Sherri Simms, Executive Assistant

Board of Directors

Jean-Marc Boisvenue, Board Chair

Jean-Marc Boisvenue of London has more than 30 years of non-profit experience. He began his career working at the Ministry of Community and Social Services before he became Executive Director of the SD&G Developmental Services Centre, an organization dedicated to improving the quality of life for those with developmental and physical challenges in Cornwall and surrounding area. He recently retired from his position as a Planning Officer at the Erie St. Clair/South West French Language Planning Entity. Jean-Marc holds a Social Work Diploma from Algonquin College. He has previously sat on boards for a number of organizations including South West Local Health Integration Network, Ottawa Children’s Treatment Centre, Ontario Association on Developmental Disabilities, Centre York Centre, Seaway Valley Crime Stoppers, and the Catholic District School Board of Eastern Ontario.

Chris Churney, Past Chair

Chris Churney is in his sixth year serving on Vanier’s board of directors.  He has served as Past Chair (current role), Board Chair, Secretary and Chair of the (former) Human Resources Committee.  Chris is a member of the London Police Service with 18 years’ experience where he holds the rank of Staff Sergeant. Chris has a varied policing experience from positions in patrol operations, the Community-Oriented Response Unit, Criminal Investigations Division, Domestic Violence investigation coordinating and his current role as the Commander of Custody Section. These experiences impressed upon him the importance of proper children and youth mental health supports in the community, provided by agencies such as Vanier. Chris has also served with other community organizations such as St Leonard’s Society, Byron Optimists, Red Cross and the West London Hockey Association.

Loretta Hillier, Co-Vice Chair

Loretta Hillier has been an independent research and evaluation consultant since 1999, specializing in health services research and evaluation, and in particular health services for older adults. She has a Master of Arts degree in Psychology and is a Credentialed Evaluator with the Canadian Evaluation Society. In addition to her independent practice, she provides research and evaluation support to a number of initiatives of the Geriatric Education and Research In Aging Sciences (GERAS) Centre, Centre for Family Medicine, Kitchener, and the Central Regional Geriatric Program, and is the Project Manager for the Ontario Osteoporosis Strategy in Long-Term Care. Previously, she provided research and evaluation support to Specialized Geriatric Services, St. Joseph’s Health Care London. Loretta previously sat on the Board of Directors for the London Interfaith Counselling Centre, now known as the Daya Counseling Centre.

Sandra Datars Bere, Co-Vice Chair

Sandra is the Managing Director, Housing, Social Services and Dearness Home, at the City of London. Sandra’s responsibilities include oversight of all social and affordable housing programs, the delivery of social assistance, employment, immigration and poverty related programs and services as well as the oversight of the City’s long term care facility, the Dearness Home.  Sandra is one of ten members of the City’s Senior Leadership team, working with the City Manager and elected officials to oversee all municipal service provision throughout the city.

Sandra previously worked at the Province of Ontario as a Regional Director for the Ministries of Community and Social Services, Children and Youth and Municipal Affairs and Housing and also worked with the City of St. Thomas where she oversaw all social service programs. Sandra has extensive experience in strategic social service program development and implementation at both the provincial and municipal levels and is committed to ensuring that necessary supports and services are provided to those in need across all communities.

A double graduate of Western University in London, Sandra holds both a Bachelor’s Degree in Honours Psychology and a Master in Public Administration.  Sandra is active in her community, serving on Western University’s Senate and its Alumni Association as well as on the Foundation at Huron University College, Western’s founding college.  Sandra has been a Board member of Vanier Children’s Services since 2017 and currently serves as the Co-Vice Chair of Vanier’s Board of Directors.

Deanna Baldwin, Treasurer

Deanna is a Chartered Professional Accountant who works as a Manager in the Audit practice of KPMG LLP’s London office. Deanna has over eight years of public auditing, accounting and reporting experience and has been involved with the audit of not-for-profit and public sector organizations, and a number of local private company clients. Deanna holds an Honours Bachelor of Management and Organizational Studies, Specialization in Accounting and Major in French from Western University. Deanna also volunteers with St Joseph’s Hospice, the Martin Family Initiative and the Woodfield Community Association. In addition, she is a member of the Community Leader Committee in her office, helping to increase engagement and encourage community involvement of those around her.

Jan DeRose

Jan DeRose is a Physiotherapist who graduated from the University of Western Ontario. She worked at the London Health Sciences Centre in almost all clinical areas until her retirement in 2016. She is a 20 year member of the May Court Club of London and has served as President. She is the May Court representative on the Board at Vanier.  Jan is also currently the Secretary of the Board at Boler Mountain, and has been President of that organization previously. She is a great advocate for the HOPE program at Vanier and will continue to fundraise for that after her Board position is completed.

Jan has been the recipient of the London Health Sciences Centre President’s Award for Community Service, as well as receiving an Ontario Volunteer Service Award.

Tara Sanders

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

Paul Levac of London has nearly 30 years of experience in the Education Sector.  He presently works as a Planning Officer for the French Language Health Planning Entity Erie St. Clair\Sud-Ouest.

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, he has been living in London since 1991.

Paul has held various positions such as Teacher, Principal and as Superintendent of Education for over 10 years with the Providence Catholic School Board.

Paul brings to the Board his knowledge of the school environment, his understanding of special needs including rehabilitation and mental health and wellness.

Thomas McKinlay

Thomas moved to London with his young family in 2014. He practices insurance defence litigation at Foster Townsend LLP. Thomas was called to the Ontario Bar in 2008, after completing his undergraduate degree at the University of Western Ontario, and his LL.B at the University of Windsor. He volunteered with Community Legal Aid and Lawyers Feed the Hungry.


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.

Every Donation Helps Us Provide

  • Mental Health supports for children & families
  • Community based programs
  • Respite care for families
  • Extra-curricular activities for children in need
  • New equipment & renovations
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How to Contact Us

871 Trafalgar Street
London ON
N5Z 1E6


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