Members of the Board
Catherine Allman, Director
With her extensive history in volunteerism and impressive resume Catherine is a substantial asset to the board. She served on the Ontario Trillium Foundation’s Toronto Grant Review Team. She was a cabinet member of YMCA Camp Pine Crest's 100th-anniversary fundraising campaign and a Board Director of Ballet Jörgen Canada and Young People's Theatre. This former journalist, who launched her career at the Orillia Packet & Times, has led public affairs and marketing teams in the private, public and non-profit sectors. She is VP, External and Government Relations at the Canadian Association of Direct Relationship Insurers. Catherine lives in Toronto.
Anderson Charters, First Vice Chair
Anderson was President of Third Sector Publishing, which published Canadian Donor’s Guide, 2003 to 2018, and was the Founder of the online resource, CharityCAN. He is a partner in Trajan Media, publisher of Canadian Coin News and Canadian Stamp News. Once a writer for The Financial Post, he co-founded the Orillia Sun community newspaper in 1982. He was an Executive Producer of No Price Too High, the six-part television series on Canadians and the Second World War. He was Chair of the Orillia University Committee and Vice Chair of the Orillia Mayor’s University Task Force that brought Lakehead University to Orillia in 2006.
Rex Deverell, Director
Rex is a socially engaged playwright and librettist, born in Toronto, raised in Orillia and now splitting his time between the two. He is a graduate of McMaster University and Union Theological Seminary (NYC) in Theatre and Theology. He has been writer in residence for the Globe Theatre (Regina), the University of Windsor, and the Blyth Festival. His work has been translated into five languages. Rex was a founding member of the Playwrights Guild of Canada and has served as its president. In 1978 Rex won the Canadian Authors Award for Boiler Room Suite, his most widely produced play.
Jay grew up in Orillia, has his Master’s in Political Science from the University of Toronto, and is currently the Orillia City Councillor for Ward 3. He has been actively involved in both Orillia’s Helping Hands and the Lighthouse Shelter and was a political columnist with the Orillia Packet & Times newspaper. Over the years Jay has worked as a political aide and as a journalist with articles appearing in over thirty Canadian newspapers. Jay grew up in a musical family and brings a passion for the arts and culture to his service on the Board.
Jay Fallis, Director
Kim Fedderson is a professor emeritus of English at Lakehead University where he was founding dean and subsequently principal of Lakehead-Orillia. He has been a visiting professor in Japan and China and throughout his research career has focused on classical and contemporary rhetoric. He is very active within his community and serves on a variety of boards.
Kate Mostowyk, Director
Kate is an investment counsellor at Burgundy Asset Management and is passionate about ensuring that each of her clients receives service tailored to his or her needs. Outside of the office, Kate spends time with her friends and family, travelling, pursuing fitness goals and enjoying the family cottage. Kate has also been involved with Operanation for several years, a fundraising event for the Canadian Opera Company’s Ensemble Studio, the nation’s premier training program for young Canadian opera artists.
Dr. Cynthia Wesley-Esquimaux, Director
Dr. Cynthia Wesley-Esquimaux served as Vice Provost for Indigenous Initiatives at Lakehead University for three years. Effective September 2016 she was appointed as the 1st Indigenous Chair for Truth and Reconciliation in Canada for Lakehead University and she continues to develop pathways forward to reconciliation across Canada. Cynthia is responsible for the development and implementation of the President’s Council for the Truth and Reconciliation and eight modules designed to engage the staff, faculty and administration of the Lakehead community.
Fred Larsen, Chair
Fred is a retired English teacher and department head for the Simcoe County District School Board. He was president of the Ontario Secondary School Teachers’ Federation twice during his teaching career. Fred’s lifelong dedication to education and learning is evident in his community work. In 2006 Fred was a member of the Orillia Mayor’s Task Force whose work brought Lakehead University to Orillia. He is the former president of the Kiwanis Club of Orillia and of the Orillia Vocal Ensemble, a community choir. He has recently taken up the volunteer role of Treasurer for Sustainable Orillia, a Mayor’s Task Force. He and his wife Lois live in Oro-Medonte.
Dennis Smith, Vice-Chair
Dennis has been in Orillia since 1975 when he came with his young family and established a dental practice. An active community member he began teaching at Georgian College, eventually being named the president of the Orillia Cancer Society. Later Dennis became president of both the Leacock Festival of Humour and the Orillia Channel Cats. For 25 years Dennis was a part-time faculty member at the University of Toronto, he was also part of the interview team for new admissions and foreign student recertification. He was invited by Orillia's mayor to be on the committee to facilitate the establishment of the Orillia Campus of Lakehead in 2006.
Brian Alger, Director
Brian Alger is a retired musician, educator, and entrepreneur. He holds an MFA in Ethnomusicology (York University), a B.M. in Music Composition and Arranging (McMaster University), and a B.Ed. in Music Education (University of Toronto). During his graduate studies, he received the Ontario Graduate Scholarship award and was a course director in the undergraduate music department. During his B.Ed., he received a U of T award for music arranging. As a performer, Brian was a classical pianist and jazz trumpet player.