KW Counselling Services Board of Directors

KW Counselling Services’ board consists of up to 20 Directors who each serve up to 3 three-year terms. The Board’s primary role is to provide strategic leadership and governance for KW Counselling Services in accordance with the organization’s Mission and Vision.

To fulfill its role, the board engages in long-term planning and ensures accountability to the public. As well as meeting for two hours each month, board members are asked to volunteer three to five hours per month on various committees. New board members are nominated at KW Counselling Services’ annual meeting each spring.

Those interested in volunteering as a Board Director may email for more information.

Board of Directors 2015-2016

Cong-Rong Xie

Past President:
Mike Braga

Paul Rossi

Elaine Read

Leslie Josling, Executive Director

  • Joseph Anderson
  • Neil Bailey
  • Bettina Burgess
  • Kyle Cleaver
  • Marie-Louise de Boyrie
  • Jo-Anne Gibson
  • Cheryl Hacking
  • Kathryn Kitchen
  • Yoke Kennedy
  • Glenn Marcus
  • Manju Rose
  • Michael Snyders
  • Laura Umbrio
  • Shelley White

Joe Anderson is currently Senior Consultant, Global Talent Development at Sun Life Financial. Previously, he was with TD Bank Group as a Learning & Development professional beginning in 2001. Joe was born and raised in Ottawa and relocated to SW Ontario while obtaining his Bachelor’s degree at the University of Guelph. Joe has also completed post-secondary studies at Conestoga College and St. Francis Xavier University in the fields of HR Management and Adult Education. He now lives with his partner Shawn and their two children in Kitchener. Joe’s volunteer work includes being a former VP of the ACCKWA (AIDS Committee of Cambridge, Kitchener, Waterloo & Area) Board of Directors and Chair of the Marketing & Communications Committee at Grand Valley HRPA. Joe is Co-Chair of our Fundraising, Public Relations & Communications Committee.
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Neil Bailey graduated from Wilfrid Laurier University with a Bachelor of Business Administration. He has spent 28 years in Commercial Banking in numerous roles and is now with Bank of Montreal as Vice President Cash Management for South Western Ontario Division. Neil has lived in KW for 28 years and served many years on the Board and Executive of the K-W Granite Club as well as on organizing committees for many national and provincial curling events. Neil joined the KWCS BOD in 2013 and is part of our Financial Management Committee.
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Marie-Louise de Boyrie has worked in private and public sectors as a Human Resources Generalist and a Health and Safety Consultant. Marie-Louise is also a certified MHFA Instructor for the 2-day Basic Training program and has taught various types of employees and members of the public these valuable skills. She launched her business, Wellness Your Way, in 2016 to share Yoga Therapy with this community and to support local business in implementing programs to support mental health in the workplace. Marie-Louise is passionate about community, mental health and the welfare of Canadians. She has volunteered with many local non-profit organizations advocating for mental health in the community and planning fundraising events and awareness campaigns. She has also facilitated training sessions on deescalating crisis within the home for family members with the Canadian Mental Health Association, Parents for Children’s Mental Health and the Association of Parents Support Groups of Ontario.
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Mike Braga is a Vice-President in the BDO Kitchener Financial Recovery Service practice serving the Kitchener-Waterloo, and surrounding area. Mike joined the BDO practice in June of 2001. He is a member of the Canadian Association of Insolvency and Restructuring Professionals. Over the years, Mike has been active with many literacy and educational initiatives in the community and is an active volunteer with Tennis Canada. Mike joined the KWCS BOD in 2009 and served as Board President from 2012-2015.
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Bettina Burgess is a partner in Gowlings’ Waterloo Region office. Her practice focuses on employment and privacy law. Bettina advises Canadian businesses — from startups to established companies — on a wide range of employment and privacy related issues. She has defended wrongful dismissal actions and human rights applications from commencement to resolution through negotiated settlements or hearings. Bettina speaks regularly at industry conferences on issues relating to privacy in the workplace, data transfers and pre-employment screening. Bettina’s past and present volunteer activities include: allocations committee for the United Way Kitchener, chairing the Gowlings’ United Way committee, Board Member and Chair of the Canadian Clay and Glass Gallery, Board Member and President of the Grand Valley Chapter of the Human Resource Professional Association, parent council of her daughter’s former school, co-founder of Gowlings’ professional women’s networking group called GROW, coordinating collection and delivery of business attire for disadvantaged young women in partnership with St. Monica House, coordinating delivery of Christmas food hampers by Gowlings’ lawyers and staff for the Food Bank, coordinating collection and delivery of clothing and toiletries by Gowlings’ lawyers and staff to the YWCA, and most recently, Board Member of KW Counselling Services.

Kyle Cleaver attended the University of Guelph where he majored in Human Resources Management and received an honours Bachelor of Commerce degree, with distinction, in 2007. He graduated from the Faculty of Law at the University of Windsor in 2010 and was called to the Bar in 2011. He is a member of the Ontario Bar Association, the Waterloo Law Association, former member of Big Brothers Big Sisters of Guelph. Kyle and his wife, local artist Kailey Hawthorn, live in Kitchener. Kyle joined the KWCS BOD in 2011 and serves on our Human Resources Committee.
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Jo-Anne Gibson holds a Bachelor of Science in Health Promotion, and more recently in 2012, graduated from Royal Roads University with a Master of Arts in Leadership. Jo-Anne was born in Australia, where she worked in the mining industry in Health & Safety and Human Resource management. She moved to England to pursue travel, and worked for the National Health Service managing health promotion projects with schools and community organizations. Her first move to Canada in 2005 took her to Calgary, where she led the Calgary Learning Village Collaborative, a health, education and social care partnership project supporting child and youth development. In 2012, Jo-Anne bought this experience to the region where she is now a consultant Leadership Coach and Team Training Facilitator, and in her spare time teaches Group Fitness classes. Jo-Anne serves on our Human Resources Committee.
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Cheryl Hacking is a Kitchener resident. She is Vice President of Marketing with a large, multi-division company. In this role, she is responsible for the development of Strategic Corporate Plans. Her marketing tools include the use of social media, trade shows, press events, and Google Analytics. Cheryl has volunteered with several organizations. Cheryl joined the KWCS BOD in 2012 and serves as Co-Chair of our Fundraising, Public Relations & Communications Committee.
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Yoke Kennedy is a single parent of four children. She completed her MSW in 2013. She has been active in the newcomer community, creating a Singapore-Malaysia Family Support Group and volunteering with the Multicultural Gardens project from 2009-2012. She has been a settlement counsellor since 2000 and working at KW Multicultural Centre since 2003. Yoke has co-facilitated three of our Parenting with Passion groups since 2001 and continues to refer people to Parenting with Passion and to Strong Moms, Safe Kids. She has resided in Ontario since 1981 and in KW since 1991, and has been working in the non-profit sector since 1992. Yoke serves on our Fundraising, Public Relations & Communications Committee.

Kathryn Kitchen is currently AVP Human Resources at Manulife and has previously worked at BlackBerry and Deloitte in increasingly senior roles. Her specialty beyond that of an HR generalist is change management, restructuring, M&A, team effectiveness, and leader coaching. Kathryn grew up in the K-W area and has had a passion for giving back. She has volunteered on several boards and for many organizations including a not-for-profit day care, and for the Human Resources Professional Association’s local chapter.
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Glenn Marcus and his wife of 23 years, Mary-Louise, have two daughters. He leads a pick-up men’s ball hockey group and also coordinates a group of volunteers who are involved in various hospitality positions. In the past, Glenn has led the volunteer committee for the KWCF’s Random Act of Kindness Day and served on the Board of a counselling centre in Cambridge. Glenn has had a varied career including roles in human resources, leadership positions in sales, marketing and customer service, working for large organizations such as Bell and Blackberry and for local business such as Callright Marketing Services and Root Cellar Technologies. Glenn serves on our Fundraising, Public Relations & Communications Committee.
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Elaine Read attended Wilfrid Laurier University in the Business Administration co-op program and obtained her Bachelor of Business Administration degree in 1996. Elaine pursued a career in accounting and completed her co-op work terms while at Laurier with Deloitte LLP. Upon graduation, Elaine began her career with Deloitte and achieved her designation as a Chartered Accountant in 1997. Elaine continues to work with Deloitte LLP and is a Partner in the Assurance and Advisory practice where she works with private companies, public sector organizations and not-for-profit organizations in the Kitchener-Waterloo area. Elaine joined the KWCS BOD in 2013 and currently serves as the Board Treasurer and Chair of the Financial Management Committee.
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Henrique Reis was born and raised in Kitchener-Waterloo, Ontario attending St. Jerome’s High School and then Conestoga College where he graduated from the Electronics Engineering Technology program. Upon graduation he began his successful I.T. career servicing clients all over South Western Ontario and around the world. However, deep roots in the Waterloo Region brought him back home, where he started two successful businesses servicing business I.T. needs locally and Canada wide. Henrique is focused as president and CEO of Reis Information Systems as well as other ventures surrounding the “Internet of Things”. Henrique joined the KWCS BOD in 2012 and serves on our Fundraising, Public Relations & Communications Committee.
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Manju Rose is a Services Executive for IBM Canada leading international service agreements in the Canadian insurance industry. Her career within the technology industry began in 2002 with CTS, India, after completing her Engineering degree at the Cochin University of Science and Technology. As an early immigrant to Canada, she pursued her MBA (Corporate Strategy & Finance) from the Richard Ivey School of Business and graduated on the Dean’s Honor List. Manju was among the handpicked few chosen to the Business and Technology Accelerated Leadership path at IBM and in six years, she grew to manage a multimillion dollar outsourcing line of business for IBM. She is married and the proud mother of a daughter. When taking a break from work, Manju pursues Indian classical dancing and is deeply passionate about woman empowerment in emerging nations. On International Women’s Day 2016, she was recognized by a Toronto based South East Asian NGO as the Woman Achiever in Science and Technology and shared the stage with Hazel McCallion, who received the Lifetime Achievement Award.
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Michael Snyders is a Senior Partner in Future Focus Inc, providing professional advisory services in strengthening leadership teams through leadership recruiting, coaching, strategic development, as well as HR services. Prior to founding his company, Future Focus Inc, Michael held various leadership positions in operations management, production management, and client services. Michael has demonstrated a strong passion for community service, and has worked with a variety of Not-For-Profit organizations such as Kitchener-Conestoga Rotary Club, Conestoga College, Meals On Wheels, Big Brothers, YMCA, Greater KW Chamber of Commerce, Habitat For Humanity, and Canada’s Technology Triangle Inc. Michael joined the KWCS BOD in 2012 and serves on our Human Resources Committee.
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Laura Umbrio is the general manager of Proof Kitchen/Lounge in Uptown Waterloo. Formerly, she was a manager with Oliver and Bonacini at Conestoga Mall. Laura and her family have fallen in love with the broad community of Kitchener-Waterloo and what it has to offer to a young family. She is very interested in community development and sees the importance of giving back. Laura joined the KWCS BOD in 2012 and serves on our Fundraising, Public Relations & Communications Committee.
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Shelley White has worked for RBC for over 25 years in various capacities, such as Trusts, Banking, Financial Planning, Brokerage and now Insurance. She is currently the Chair of the Board for the Sexual Assault Support Centre of Waterloo Region. Her term ends in June. She is also an active volunteer on their Crisis Line and provides assistance to survivors of sexual violence. Shelley is an active participant of 100+ Women Who Care in Waterloo Region and in the past, she has volunteered for Nutrition for Learning, the Food Bank and the St. Mary’s Hospital Foundation Board. Shelley was born and raised in Whitby, Ontario and came to Waterloo Region in 1996. She has one daughter who is 21 and who is finishing up her degree in Sociology at McMaster University with her next step being a Masters in Social Work. Shelley has been volunteering on the KWCS Financial Management Committee since July 2015.
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Cong-Rong Xie is AVP of IT at Economical Insurance. She immigrated to Canada after graduating from Tsinghua University in Beijing and then completed a Systems Design Engineering Master’s degree at the University of Waterloo. Cong-Rong has two daughters. She volunteers as an Executive Member of the Chinese Canadian Women’s Federation. Previously, she served on the Board of Directors for United Way of KW and Area. Cong-Rong joined our Board in 2010 and is currently serving as our President.
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