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 2018-2019

Paul Rossi

Past President:
Cong-Rong Xie

Elaine Read

Shelley White

Diane McGregor, Interim Co-Executive Director

  • Ameer Abdulla
  • Raheem Adam
  • Neil Bailey
  • Kyle Cleaver
  • Denise Derbez
  • Jeff Desbiens
  • Cheryl Hacking
  • Andy Mao
  • Manju Rose
  • Kristine Schmeiss
  • Michael Snyders
  • Aaron Stauch
  • Rebecca Wagner

Ameer Abdulla holds a HBBA degree from Wilfrid Laurier University with an Accounting concentration and has held progressive senior roles at EY Private Client Services providing tax and advisory support for clients. He gives back to the community through his volunteer work in a leadership role in his church and has also been involved in a campaign committee for United Way. In his spare time he enjoys gardening, golf and soccer.
View LinkedIn Page

Raheem Adam completed his Bachelor of Science degree (Honors Computer Science) at McGill University in Montreal where he graduated at the top of his class. Raheem started his career with Google in 2013 and works there as a software engineer. He has demonstrated his interest and passion in the value of connection through his involvement in organizing events in the technology community. He currently co-leads the Waterloo “googler-to-googler” learning chapter, and has previously volunteered with the Alzheimer’s Society and Mama Fatuma’s. In addition to English, Raheem speaks Swahili and French and enjoys traveling, piano and improv theatre. 
View LinkedIn Page

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.
View LinkedIn Page

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.
View LinkedIn Page

Denise Derbez is a Sales Representative at Re/Max Solid Gold in Waterloo. She immigrated to Canada from Mexico in 1998 with her husband and two daughters. Denise is a graduate of Universidad de Monterrey, where she received a BA in Graphic Design. Her career life spans varied roles including Swimming Instructor, Children’s Art Teacher, Web Designer, Real Estate Photographer and Real Estate Sales Representative, which she has been for the past 12 years. Denise is passionate about taking care of her clients and pays extra attention to their goals and needs. Enthusiasm, hard work, determination to succeed, personalized service and love of helping others are the main motivators that drive her. Denise’s work is well recognized among the K-W Latin community and she has been presented with the RE/MAX Hall of Fame Award. Denise is a proud supporter of the Children’s Miracle Network and Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation.
View LinkedIn Page

Jeff Desbiens has been the Vice President, Human Resources at Economical Insurance for the past three years.  Jeff is a pragmatic and hands-on HR Executive and business partner experienced in aligning HR strategic plans to positively impact the achievement of business results and employee engagement.  Capitalizing on strong leadership and team building skills, Jeff thrives on creating and delivering HR services in complex organizations. 

Jeff holds a bachelor of Commerce from the University of Windsor, an MBA from Royal Roads University and is a Certified Human Resources Leader.  Jeff lives in Waterloo with his wife and three children.  Jeff and his family canvass for the Heart and Stroke foundation and are active supporters of the Hospital for Sick Children in Toronto. 
View LinkedIn Page

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.
View LinkedIn Page

Andy Mao completed his Bachelor of Business Administration and Graduate Diploma in Accounting at Wilfrid Laurier University. He now works in the Finance team at Economical Insurance while pursuing a Chartered Professional Accountant designation. Andy was born and raised in Scarborough, Ontario and moved to the Waterloo Region in 2012. He is passionate about understanding the unique needs of the community and identifying opportunities to bridge service gaps. He dedicates his time volunteering extensively, with a focus on community collaboration and development. He has previous volunteer experience with Sustainable Waterloo Region, the Community Music School of Waterloo Region, and the Wilfrid Laurier University Students’ Union. He now volunteers on the Community Investment Team at United Way Waterloo Region Communities and as a weekly mentor with Junior Achievement.
View LinkedIn Page

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.
View LinkedIn Page

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.
View LinkedIn Page

Kristine Schmeiss and her husband Ted, a local small business owner, reside in Waterloo. Together, they enjoy travelling, are avid football fans and love spending time with family. Kristine works for RBC Royal Bank and currently holds the role of Regional Manager of Sales Support in Commercial Banking. Her career in the Financial Services industry began in 1999, the last eight years Kristine has held various leadership roles where she has demonstrated her passion for helping clients and the personal development of her team. Kristine has volunteered on several fundraising and event planning committees including Jeans ‘N Scrubs and the Outstanding Women of Laurier she has also organized the collection and delivery of items for the youth at Lutherwood over the last few years. She has also recently joined an Employee Resource Group within RBC Royal Bank in Southwestern Ontario supporting Lean In Circles.
View LinkedIn Page

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.
View LinkedIn Page

Aaron Stauch is a life long resident of Waterloo Region, having gone to high school in Cambridge; and having lived in Kitchener and Waterloo. Aaron completed his Bachelors and Masters in Environmental Studies at the University of Waterloo, and his Masters of Business Administration at Athabasca University. Aaron has held progressive leadership roles in the environmental, social service, and governmental sectors. Aaron managed children’s mental health, and counselling services for a large local not-for-profit. Aaron has also served as Vice-Chair for both the Canadian Mental Health Association Grand River Branch, and HopeSpring Cancer Support Centre.
View LinkedIn Page

Rebecca Wagner currently works as Director of Stakeholder Relations with the Office of MPP Daiene Vernile. Rebecca has held leadership and advisory roles with organizations such as Healthy Minds Canada, Elections Canada and the Kitchener Downtown Community Health Centre. She has volunteered extensively in Toronto and Kitchener-Waterloo, including with Women’s College Hospital, Cota, Western University, and the Centre for International Governance Innovation. Rebecca holds an Honours BA in Political Science from Western University and a Master of Arts in Political Science from the University of Waterloo and is currently completing a French Certificate.
View LinkedIn Page

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.
View LinkedIn Page

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.
View LinkedIn Page