KWS Board of Directors
A biography is available for indicated Board Members.
- Robert Astley, Honorary Director
- Ron Craigen, Past Chair
- Ruth Harris, Chair of KWS Foundation
- Harry Lane, Vice-Chair of Volunteer Committee
- George Lange, Honorary Director
- Jane Manness, Chair of Players Committee
- Mike Marshman, Honorary Director
- Judy Morton, Chair of Volunteer Committee
- Edwin Outwater
- Dan Warren
Board Member Biographies
Catherine Copp, Chair
Catherine Copp is the Vice President for Knightsbridge Human Capital Solutions in Waterloo, Ontario. She has a 20 year history with the firm, leading a team of consulting professionals, building business relationships and managing regional financial results, as well as delivering coaching services to executives. She has also led business teams within the GTA region, and prior to joining Knightsbridge spent several years in the marketing division of a professional services firm and research department for an investment firm.
An active interest in the performing arts includes past Board work with The Elora Festival and enthusiastic member and subscriber with The Stratford Shakespeare Festival, Shaw Festival, Toronto Symphony and Canadian Opera Company. In her youth she performed with the Toronto Gilbert & Sullivan Society and longed for a better talent with piano and voice. Other Board work includes the KW-YWCA, and a Toronto environmental organization.
Catherine has an Honours BA from Trent University, a Masters in Library Science from the University of Toronto and is a Certified Management Consultant. She is also a certified trained Executive Coach. She was born in Kitchener and now lives back in her home town with her husband, David McBride.
Glen Dyrda, Vice Chair, Treasurer
Glen Dyrda was born and raised in Winnipeg, Manitoba. After graduating high school, he went on to complete an Honours Bachelor of Commerce degree from the University of Manitoba. Glen was admitted by the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Manitoba to membership in June of 1981, and later elected a Fellow of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Manitoba.
Glen joined Price Waterhouse in June of 1978 and over the next 12 years he held a variety of managerial positions until he was admitted as a partner of the firm in 1990. In July of 2007, Glen then relocated to the Waterloo office of PricewaterhouseCoopers as the Managing Partner, Southwest Ontario Region and Managing Partner, Waterloo office; a position which he still holds today. Glen served on the Canadian Leadership Group for PwC Canada from 2005 to 2009, and has served as Chair of PwC Canada's Partnership Board since 2009.
Glen has always maintained connections to the community in which he grew up. Glen was an Associate of the Asper School of Business (University of Manitoba), Treasurer and member of the Board of Directors from 2001-2006. He has also been involved in the Manitoba Theatre Centre- Treasurer and various Executive positions including Chair of the Board of Trustees for two years, from 1999-2007 inclusive.
Aubrey Lasky, Secretary
Aubrey Lasky is a lawyer at Gowling Lafleur Henderson LLP and practices
exclusively corporate and commercial law.
Prior to joining Gowlings’ Waterloo Region office, Aubrey worked at international
law firms in both London, England and Toronto, Ontario.
Aubrey advises a broad range of corporate, institutional, charitable and private
clients on a variety of business law matters. His practice focuses on
domestic and cross-border mergers and acquisitions, corporate finance
transactions, fund formation, joint ventures and IPOs. In addition, Aubrey also represents technology and
media clients in relation to the protection and commercialization of intellectual property rights. He plays
an active role in Gowlings’ UK office and advises UK clients on their Canadian strategies as well as Canadian
clients in relation to out-bound investments into the UK.
Aubrey holds an LLB from the University of Western Ontario, a Bachelor of Arts (Honours Philosophy)
from York University and attended Bond University Law School (Queensland, Australia) on an exchange
program. He was admitted to the Ontario bar in 2003 and qualified as a solicitor in England and
Wales in 2008.
Aubrey has been active in community service throughout his professional life, having served in leadership
roles in several organizations promoting young entrepreneurship and acted as a volunteer
providing strategic advice to the Alzheimer’s Society (UK). Aubrey has been a long-time enthusiast of
music and the arts.
Kurt Christie was born and raised in Guelph. He enrolled in UW's fledgling co-op engineering program in its inaugural year of 1957, graduating as an electrical engineer.
After living and working in Kitchener and Waterloo, he returned to Guelph to become a founding brother and Vice-President of Fastforms Inc.
Now retired, he continues to be active in volunteer organizations in Guelph and Waterloo Region.
Kurt has enjoyed fifty-one years of married life with Sandra, his high school sweetheart. His two children and three grandchildren bring great joy.
Connie Deckert's father bought Connie her first set of clubs when she was 11 years old. At 18 she was Runner-up Ontario Junior Champ and at 21 participated in the LPGA Tour. It appeared that golf was where she was heading. Yet, a year later she would choose to go in a completely different direction: into the world of business. She chose to join her father's automotive parts company, Motivair Canada Ltd. and at the age of 34 she became its president.
As President of Motivair Canada Ltd. her astute strategic, business and financial skills placed Motivair among the most notable "custom" muffler contenders and the industry's most respected. Her ability to motivate, energize and lead enabled her to successfully transition Motivair to a second generation company while at the same time expanding its customer base and increasing annual sales from $200K to $1.5M.
In 2008 Connie sold Motivair to her plant manager and started Fore U Enterprises. Fore U Enterprises works together with individuals, organization and corporations to increase their skill and comfort level in golf whether they are playing for fun, business or competitively. Today, she is a member of the LPGA Teaching and Club Professionals as well as the Canadian Golf Teachers' Federation. She also teaches at Max's Golf Centre in Waterloo and conducts seminars she has developed on golf etiquette, course management, and using golf as a business tool.
Vic DiCiccio directs the University of Waterloo’s Institute for Computer Research (ICR), which he help found nearly 30 years ago to increase interaction and relationships between companies and academic researchers, to transfer ideas and students, and encourage the exploitation of research results. ICR now has over 150 faculty members from eight academic departments at Waterloo, as well as fifteen mission-oriented research groups.
Much of the research fostered in ICR has formed or aided companies that have spun-off from the University of Waterloo, including Dalsa Inc., Open Text, Certicom Corporation, Sirific Wireless, Maplesoft, Slipstream Data, RapidMind, and Bioinformatics Solutions. Most of these companies have now joined others through mergers and acquisitions. Vic is involved with several professors working in topics related to new media, digital humanities and computers in the arts.
Vic is also the Director for Research Partnerships for the GRAND NCE, a federal network of over 100 researchers at 25 universities collaborating with companies and user groups in the areas of graphics, animation, games, new media and social networks.
Previously, Vic was the director of advanced technology at SOMA Networks, a 250-person start-up developing fixed broadband wireless technology, and the vice-president of research for Communications and Information Technology Ontario (CITO, now OCE) which funds industry-relevant research at Ontario's universities. He has been an applicant for Canarie grants which have accelerated local industry and brought higher-bandwidth networking to southern Ontario universities and colleges. He is a director of Rhetoritech Inc., a start-up that commercializes persuasive language technology, arising from a multi-university research project in the health domain.
Ginny Dybenko comes to the role of Executive Director of University of
Waterloo’s exciting new Stratford Campus with five successful years as the Dean of the Wilfrid Laurier School of Business & Economics and over 30 years of corporate experience.
The Waterloo Stratford Campus is a think-tank, integrator and training
institute devoted to collaboration between digital media, international
commerce and culture. This high-tech facility currently houses the Master of Digital Experience Innovation (MDEI) Program launched in September 2011.
While Laurier Business Dean, Ginny’s leadership role set the strategic direction for one of the largest Business Schools in Canada including introducing a unique Management of Innovation curriculum platform, developing a strong international agenda, establishing Canada’s first MBA in Innovation and Entrepreneurship and Executive Masters in Technology Management, and successfully introducing the Blackberry into the university classroom.
Ginny previously held a number of senior executive roles in both Bell Canada and a high tech startup including a five year period as President and CEO of Bell Advanced Communications. In that role she contributed to Bell Canada’s pursuit of Canada’s first broadband initiative, Canada’s Information Highway, CA*net; the formation of a Professional Services business unit within Bell Canada and the
pioneering of Bell’s first successful Electronic Commerce service offering.
Ginny is a member of SSHRC (Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada),
Institute for Chartered Accountants, Canadian Safety Association, Greater Kitchener-Waterloo Chamber of Commerce, Kitchener Waterloo Symphony and the Waterloo North Hydro Boards.
Ginny is a long-standing adjudicator for Ernst & Young’s Entrepreneur of the Year Awards, the Fulbright Scholarship Foundation and RBC Canadian Women Entrepreneur Awards. She is one of the founding members of the Canadian Board Diversity Council – Women’s Executive Network. Ginny is also President and Founder of the Waterloo Chapter of the International Women’s Forum and was recently named one of Canada’s Top 100 Most Powerful Women.
Linda Fabi is formerly the Director of Education and Secretary to the Board of the Waterloo Region District School Board. Linda holds positions with a variety of groups within this community. For example, she is an Instructor with the Supervisory Officers’ Qualification Program (SOQP), on the Board of Directors for the Ontario Public Supervisory Officials’ Association (OPSOA) and the President-Elect for the Ontario Public Supervisory Officials’ Association.
Linda has been a teacher of student choirs and music, both vocal and piano. She has a very diverse educational background including both a Bachelor and a Master of Arts degree, as well as qualifications in advanced leadership, Principal qualifications and her Supervisory Officers’ Certificate.
Linda has a variety of professional interests including: Educational Leadership Development, Team and Educational Culture Building, Organizational Social-Emotional Intelligence, Building Educational Partnerships, and Strategic Planning and Organizational Development.
Her personal interests include travel; the history, culture, religion and archaeology of ancient civilizations, music, wine and cooking, and fashion design.
Raised in Woodstock, Ontario, Diane enrolled in Civil Engineering at the University of Waterloo in 1986. Upon graduation, she accepted employment as an engineer with Conestoga-Rovers & Associates Ltd. (CRA). Today, as a licensed professional engineer, she works as a Senior Project Manager with
CRA in the air and noise department.
Diane believes in volunteering, and serves as Vice President of the Professional Engineers of Ontario. She was the founding President of the Butterfly Learning Centre, a not-for-profit childcare facility located in North Waterloo. Since 1999, Diane, her husband Peter, and her two children, Scott and Adam have resided in Ward 4. Both boys attend the neighbourhood public school and are active participants in Waterloo Minor Hockey and Soccer. Diane enjoys cheering for her two boys and can be found at many of their games. She also shows Old English Sheepdogs.
Raymond Laflamme is Executive Director of the Institute for Quantum Computing at the University of Waterloo. He was born in Quebec, studied at Laval and then in Cambridge as a graduate student of Stephen Hawking. He then worked at UBC in Vancouver, back in Cambridge and finally Los ALamos National Laboratory for 9 years before coming back to Canada attracted by the Perimeter Institute and the University of Waterloo.
He is a physicist working in many areas from fundamental issues in the field of quantum mechanics and its applications to novel technologies.
He is an Associate and Founding member of the Perimeter Institute, has received many awards and amongst others Canada Research Chair in Quantum Information, Premier of Ontario Discovery Award recipient and is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada.
Raymond is married to Janice Gregson and has two children, Patrick and Jocelyne.
He has a passion for the arts, its influence on science and its impact on society.
Dawn Lutchman is Vice President, Commercial Banking, looking after markets that include, the Greater KW area, Guelph, Cambridge, Georgetown, Orangeville and Milton. She has a solid 23 year banking career of which 14 of those years have been with BMO. She has held many roles
within the commercial line of business at BMO. These include Commercial Account Management roles in the Mississauga Area; Assistant Manager Commercial Credit in Toronto; VP Credit Concurrence at Harris Bank in Chicago; Commercial Banking Area Manager for the Kingston/Brockville Area; Commercial Banking Area Manager for Barrie/Muskoka/Peterborough and the Kawartha Lakes Area.
Prior to joining BMO, Dawn was at RBC and ABN Amro Bank in capacities as credit analyst.
In the last 6 years, she has honed her leadership skills, where she has led her team to the top while in Kingston, and was successful in doing a turnaround in Barrie.
She has been actively involved in her community where she participates in local events, is a former Rotarian, a supporter of Shelter from the Storm, United Way, and a past board member at Trent
University where she also advised on their Property and Finance committee. Within BMO, she is Co-Chair of the Ontario Regional Divisions’ Employee Council and is a member National Employee Council.
Dawn holds a MBA from Dalhousie University, Halifax, NS; is a Fellow of the Canadian Institute of
Bankers and has successfully completed the Advanced Leadership Program from Rotman School of Business, University of Toronto.
A key to Dawn’s success has been her focus on putting the best interest of her team first and she prides herself on the collaboration successes she has had with partners. She is customer centric and holds high standards for herself and her peers alike. Dawn is team oriented and prides herself on the
development of individuals through her sound coaching skills. She is dedicated to doing what is right for
customers, employees and the company.
On a personal note, Dawn was born and raised in the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago and left at the age of 17 to pursue higher education. In her spare time, she is an avid music collector, loves travelling and enjoys a sunny day on the beach.
Holly Manning is a Waterloo native who attended her first KW symphony at the age of 9, and has been an ardent fan ever since.
After completing her education at Trent University, she ran a small business in Ottawa for several years. She returned to the region in 1996 to raise a family and become involved in her community.
She is a dedicated volunteer and philanthropist, with a strong commitment to social services and the
arts. Holly also chairs the Parent's Council for Waterloo Collegiate Institute, and sits on the boards of Kitchener-Waterloo Bilingual School, and Carizon Family and Community Services.
Mark Mollison is the President of Conestoga Roofing & Sheet Metal Ltd. located in Cambridge, Ontario, serving all of Southwestern Ontario. He acquired the company in early 2010 and has since grown Conestoga Roofing from 27 employees to 80 employees, tripling sales and extending service areas throughout Ontario. Prior to acquiring Conestoga Roofing Mark worked for Aecon Industrial, Cambridge as a Project Coordinator/Manager at various construction sites in Ontario as well as overseas in Prague, Czech Republic. After nearly four years Mark then worked for Toyota Motor Manufacturing Canada, Cambridge traveling to the USA and many countries in Asia (Thailand, Hong Kong, China, Japan) as a Purchasing Specialist. At both Aecon and Toyota he
gained large corporate expertise in construction and manufacturing, and of continuous improvement
through small calculated steps aimed at achieve large goals.
Mark has been a resident of Kitchener-Waterloo since being born at Grand River Hospital. He
graduated from the University of Waterloo with a Bachelor of Applied Science in Civil Engineering with a management sciences option. He is currently a Licenced Professional Engineer of Ontario.
Mark and his wife Thanh-Thanh Tieu are also the proud and loving parents of their two boys,
Nathaniel Edward Mollison (2011) and Andrew Alexander Mollison (2013).
Mark has always worked to give back to the community. Even with a demanding course load as an engineering student, Mark was an active participant on the engineering council as the treasurer for three years. He enjoyed being a part of the student community and always wanted the best for engineering at the U of W. Since acquiring Conestoga Roofing Mark has been able to set aside more time
to becoming involved with and give back to the community. With a history of enjoying classical music
throughout his life, Mark wanted to dive head first into working with the KWS. Initially joining as a
corporate member, and a Conductor's Circle supporter he also joined the KWS development committee. Mark is very excited to have the opportunity to join the KWS Board and to contribute to the
bright future of the KWS.
Ken Morley was born and raised in Peterborough, Ontario. In 1974, he left Peterborough bound for the big city of Hamilton where he completed his B.Sc. in cellular biology at McMaster University and later his Diploma in Medical Laboratory Technology at Mohawk College. It was at McMaster where Ken met his wife to be – Dianne Freure. After graduation Ken moved to Kitchener and he and Dianne then married in 1979. At this time, employment in Kitchener was scarce and Ken found work at McMaster University Hospital in Clinical Immuno-Haematology and then in Clinical Microbiology. In 1983 Ken left the medical field to return to school at Wilfred Laurier University where he completed his Diploma in Accounting and later received accounting certification as a Certified Management Accountant.
A fter graduation Ken worked for Clarkson Gordon Accountants, Electrohome Limited and Fasco
Fractional Motors. In 1990 employment opportunities lead Ken north to Elmira where he joined
Martin Pet Foods Ltd. as a cost accountant. Soon after, Ken was promoted to Accounting Manager and later to Controller of the Pet Division. In 1997 the pet business was sold to H.J. Heinz and again in 2002 to Delmonte Foods. Ken’s employment transferred with each transaction. In 2005, when Delmonte announced the closure of the Elmira pet food plant, Ken formed a partnership with a fellow manager and bought the plant from Delmonte, forming the new pet food company - Elmira Pet Products Ltd. In this purchase, Ken was able to save the jobs of the 85 employees that were with the Elmira pet business.
Over the following 6 years the partnership rebuilt the business, doubled both output and sales and grew the employment base to 150 fulltime employees. This made Elmira Pet Products Ltd. the largest private label pet food manufacturer in Canada. In 2011 Ken left Elmira Pet Products, selling his 50% share to his partner, to seek new business opportunities.
Ken and Dianne live in Kitchener and have two sons….Nathan that is living and teaching English in China and Spencer who owns a photography studio in Kitchener. Ken enjoys golfing, woodworking and is active in Judo holding a black belt.
Catherine Motz brings her background in philosophy, law, and
organizational behaviour to her Kitchener-based consulting business as
well as her active community service.
Her legal practice in both private and corporate settings was marked by
her competence in bringing clarity and understanding to issues,
calming conflict, and moving towards positive solutions. As a consultant for
the past 15 years, she retooled those skills to support businesses,
community groups, and individuals in their goal achievements particularly in the areas of governance and
leadership, strategic planning, process management, and positive personnel development.
The not-for-profit sector is of special interest to Catherine. In addition to serving on a variety of
boards and committees, she focuses her consulting work on the needs of community-based
organizations where the demand is especially high for practical, durable support. Whether as a
consultant or as a volunteer, she is dedicated to effectively and efficiently bringing community needs and
Lois Norris is Communitech’s Chief Financial Officer, where she is
responsible for the leadership of the finance, IT, and facility operations
teams. Working within the leadership team, she works to set financial
strategy and direction for the organization. Lois joined Communitech in
2012, bringing with her more than 20 years’ experience in the financial
After receiving her BBA from Wilfrid Laurier University, Lois obtained her CA designation and spent
seven years with KPMG where her clients ranged from large public companies in the manufacturing
distribution and technology sectors to privately-held companies and municipalities.
Lois moved on to spend 15 years in senior financial roles in food manufacturing (Humpty Dumpty and
Dare Foods). Her experience within industry finance is diverse, spanning treasury functions,
information technology and providing financial leadership to corporate strategic .
Dr. Shekhar Pandey
Dr. A. Shekhar Pandey is an Assistant Clinical Professor (Adjunct) in the Department of Medicine McMaster University. He is presently a Staff Cardiologist at Cambridge Memorial Hospital & is a Cathing Cardiologist at St. Mary’s Hospital in Kitchener, ON. His practices in Cambridge, at the Cambridge Cardiac Care Centre.
Growing up in Cape Breton, NS, he went on to complete his BSc at Dalhousie University and MD at the University of Toronto. H e currently has appointments with the Department of Medicine at McMaster University, The Ontario Drug Benefit (ODB) Formulary, the Waterloo-Wellington Regional Cardiac Care Committee, and the
University of Waterloo, Clinical Research Ethics Board.
Dr. Pandey is the founder of the “Prevent” Clinic, a multi-disciplinary, high risk prevention clinic
focused on risk modification and lifestyle optimization.
Included among his numerous awards and scholarships is the Rhodes Fellowship for Young
Investigators with the International Society of Heart Research. Since 1987 he has authored over 30
publications and abstracts in areas such as organic mercury toxicity and endothelin blockage.
Outside of spending any free time with his family, he enjoys travel, a variety of musical and visual arts and volunteer work.
John Tennant heads W2N2 Partnership, a strategic consulting, policy and advisory firm focused on international relations, economic development, international trade, investment, innovation, and governance.
From 2002 through 2008, John was CEO of Canada’s Technology Triangle Inc (CTT Inc), the public-private regional economic development partnership for Waterloo Region, including the cities of Cambridge, Kitchener and Waterloo.
Prior to coming to Waterloo Region, he had a distinguished Canadian foreign service career which culminated as Canadian Consul General in Detroit (1998 to 2002). Earlier US assignments were in New York and Chicago. In addition he represented Canada in Japan, West Africa, Central America, the Eastern Caribbean and Australia.
John has a B.Comm. from McGill University and the ICD.D certification from the Institute of Corporate Directors.