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, Treasurer
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.
Stephanie Stanton, Secretary
Stephanie is an abstract expression artist and owner of ART & HOME Studio in Orillia. She earned a Fine Arts degree from York University. Currently Stephanie is a member of the sales team at Muskoka Bay Resort in Gravenhurst and serves on the Board of the Orillia Museum of Art and History. Stephanie is the inaugural chairperson of the Orillia Art in Public Places Committee, Chairperson of the Orillia Manufacturing Association, Communications person for Orillia Fine Arts Association, and member of the Starry Night Planning Committee.
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 current 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 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.
Debbie Woodman, Director
With extensive financial services experience, Debbie was Vice-President of a major Canadian financial institution prior to moving to the Orillia area in 1997 with her husband and two children. She has since done various speaking and consulting engagements. An active volunteer, Debbie has served as president of the Canadian National Exhibition Association and the Toronto Junior Board of Trade, as a director on Canadian Exhibition Air Shows, Ontario Chamber of Commerce, Toronto Board of Trade, City of Toronto Sesquicentennial Board, the Board of Governors of Exhibition Place and a senator, Junior Chamber International. She has also held leadership roles in her church and with various organizations working with young people. Debbie graduated from the University of Toronto, with an MBA, Hon. B.Sc. and FICB designation.
Honorary Members of the Board
Margaret Atwood is the author of more than forty books of fiction, poetry, and critical essays. Her novels include Booker Prize-winning The Blind Assassin, The Robber Bride, The Edible Woman, Surfacing, Cat’s Eye and The Handmaid’s Tale. Her numerous awards and citations include the Governor Generals Award, Companion of the Order of Canada, Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada, the Arthur C. Clarke Award for best Science Fiction, the Dashiell Hammett Award for crime writing, and The Giller Prize. Margaret Atwood lives in Toronto with writer Graeme Gibson.
Bonnie Brooks is a department store executive who is former vice-chair, Hudson Bay Company. As its first female CEO, Bonnie led HBC through sweeping changes that revitalized one of the planet’s oldest brands. She is a member of the Order of Canada and received the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee medal for philanthropy, and in October 2014 she became the first woman to receive the Ivey Business Leader of the Year Award. Bonnie is a member of the Board of Directors for Chico’s FAS, Inc., Rogers Communications and RioCan Real Estate Investment Trust and was Chair of the Royal Ontario Museum Board of Trustees and a Board member at Abercrombie & Fitch.
Helen Burstyn lived in Orillia as a child and has had a long and distinguished career in civil society and public service. She has served as chair of the Ontario Trillium Foundation and special advisor to the Government of Ontario on social enterprise. Her volunteer portfolios have included service as Chair of Waterfront Toronto, Chair of Evergreen Canada and serving as a director of TIFF, the Canadian Opera Company, the Walrus Foundation and the Learning Partnership. She is also a co-founder of the Pecault Centre for Social Impact and currently serves as the Distinguished Visiting Professor for Social Enterprise at Ryerson University.
Maureen Kempston Darkes
Maureen Kempston Darkes, O.C., O. Ont., D. Comm., LLD., was General Motors Corporation Group Vice President and President GM Latin America, Africa and the Middle East from 2002 to her retirement in 2009. Prior to this she was President and General Manager of GM Canada. Maureen currently serves on many boards and committees and served as former chair for major gifts for Women’s College Hospital fund-raising campaigns and co-chaired BC Cancer Foundation’s Millennium Campaign. She is a former Director of Bridgepoint Health Foundation. Maureen holds a BA in history and political science from Victoria College, University of Toronto. She holds a Bachelor of Laws from the U of T Law School and was called to the Bar of Ontario in 1975.