KWS Board of Directors
A biography is available for indicated Board Members.
Catherine Copp, Chair
Lois Norris, Treasurer
Aubrey Lasky, Secretary
Bob Astley, Honorary Director
Andrew Bennett, KWS Executive Director
Ron Craigen, Past Chair
John Dadds, Vice Chair of Volunteer Commitee
Linda Fabi, Chair of Nominating Committee
Ruth Harris, Chair of KWS Foundation
Harry Lane, Chair of Volunteer Committee
George Lange, Honorary Director
Mike Marshman, Honorary Director
Edwin Outwater, Music Director
Board Member Biographies
Catherine Copp, Chair
Catherine Copp was 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.
Lois Norris, Treasurer
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 .
Aubrey Lasky, Secretary
Aubrey Lasky is a lawyer at Gowling WLG 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.
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.
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.
Joseph, is the Founding CEO of TribeHR, and the Vice President of HCM Products at NetSuite and holds a Bachelors of Applied Science in Computer Engineering from the University of Waterloo. A successful repeat-entrepreneur in the Waterloo Region, with over 15 years leading software technology organizations in Canada, he is a recognized leader in the community.
Joseph’s extensive experience in enterprise and cloud software includes leading the digital engagement program of the G20 Global Sustainability Panel and leading a Digital Media and IT Organization through the design, planning and implementation of the $69-Million CIGI Campus in Waterloo. For his successes with Lewis Media and CIGI, Joseph was honoured with the CIBC Entrepreneur of the Year Award in 2005 and was recognized as one of Waterloo Region’s Top 40 under 40 in 2011.
Joseph currently sits on the board of directors of Communitech, and has previously sat on the board of Habitat for Humanity Waterloo Region, the Kitchener-Waterloo Art Gallery, the Barnraisers Council, and as chair of Lewis Media.
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.
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.
Dave is Vice-President of Maxwell's Music House and the new Maxwell's Concerts and Events in Waterloo. Maxwell's has been a school, a live venue and a hub of several educational programs and community activities. In addition to leading many musical workshops and explorative music projects, Dave has spearheaded many of Maxwell's most successful educational programs, including their rock programs in public schools. He has been active community volunteer on the Creative Enterprise Initiative Board, the Arts Education Initiative and the Region of Waterloo Arts Fund. Originally from Waterloo, Dave began his studies in music at Wilfrid Laurier and completed his bachelor of music in composition from the University of British Columbia. He is currently completing the Masters in Community Music program at Wilfrid Laurier University. He is also and avid filmmaker and music producer, having produced several albums for local musicians. As a musician, he has played in venues all over Canada and parts of Europe and the US. His instruments include, Vocals, Guitar, Bass, Keys, Drums and Electronic instruments.
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.
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
Adele Newton has developed and managed a broad range of innovative programs and strategic international partnerships in the university, technology and not-for-profit sectors. She has over twenty-five years of experience in working and communicating with cross-cultural sensitivity in North America, Africa, Europe and China.
Adele has held full time positions at Alias Research, the University of Waterloo, the University of Toronto, BlackBerry and the African Institute for Mathematical Sciences. She founded Newton Associates in 1993 and her clients have included Side Effects Software, the Institute for Quantum Computing, the University of Waterloo, Art Center College of Design, the Information Technology Association of Canada and Ryerson University.
Adele is a graduate of the Faculty of Mathematics at the University of Waterloo.
David is the co-founder and CEO of Media Sonar Technologies Inc since 2013. It is a location-based social media monitoring platform purpose built for law enforcement and public safety. He is has been active in the technology entrepreneurial space in Kitchener-Waterloo for many years acting as an Entrepreneur in Residence with Communitech and the Accelerator Centre, in additional to being an active angel investor in early stage companies. David is also a partner in the local Walper Hotel redevelopment. Prior to this he was the CEO of Navtech, Inc. in Waterloo for 9 years.
David has served on a number of Corporate and not-for-profit Boards including Chair of THEMUSEUM, The Centre in the Square, Navtech Inc, and Communitech.
David received his Bachelor of Applied Science in Engineering from the University of Waterloo, followed by a Master of Business Administration from Wilfrid Laurier University.
Rick Weiss is a Private Banker with RBC Wealth Management based in Waterloo, Ontario, Canada. He provides expertise and financial counsel to high net worth clients. In addition, Rick partners with professional athletes and entertainers, their families and their other advisors to deliver tailored, cross-border financial solutions incorporating investment management, estate planning and multi-jurisdictional tax strategies.
Engaging a relatively small number of clients to ensure responsive service, Rick helps clients manage their Wealth from a holistic perspective. Working with clients’ established Centers of Influence, Rick assists in coordinating their investment, credit and banking needs, helping to make their overall financial picture more simple and accessible. Mr. Weiss delivers comprehensive financial strategies, leading a team with both domestic and global expertise, providing investment advice, business banking, and domestic and international trust solutions.
Rick’s clients benefit from his significant experience gained through a career of more than thirty years in the financial industry and highlighted with several RBC awards for his commitment to teamwork and superior client service. When not spending time with his wife and two children, he enjoys golf, skiing and travel. Rick holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from Wilfrid Laurier University in Waterloo. He is fluent in English and German and has a working knowledge of French.
Karen Wilkinson is a Tax Partner with Deloitte LLP. Karen's practice is focused on assisting private companies and their owners in maximizing wealth and transitioning the business to the next generation. Karen participated with the University of Waterloo Centre for Tax Education and Research in completing the study "Are Canadian Family Businesses an Endangered Species?". Karen is currently the National Tax Learning Leader for the Deloitte Canadian Tax Practice and also oversees the tax publications team. Karen graduated from the University of Waterloo with a Master of Accounting degree. Karen has been very involved in the community over the years currently serving as a member of the Board of Governors at the University of Waterloo. Prior community involvement has included the United Way of Cambridge and North Dumfries, Kitchener Waterloo Symphony Association and the University of Waterloo Planned Giving Advisory Committee.
Hajra Wilson was born in South Africa and has been in Canada since 1975 becoming a Citizen in 1986. Her career was mostly in Medical Imaging, working in Libya, England, Switzerland and Canada.
Now retired and living in Cambridge, she has an extensive volunteer resume in the arts working diligently in Waterloo, Kitchener and Cambridge. As well, she has International Recognition for her work with Rotary International for her intense involvement with Polio Plus. In that regard, she has been leading volunteers to delivering Polio vaccine in Africa, India and Pakistan. Her work in the local Rotary District has raised the profile of Rotary’s Polio Eradication throughout.
Community Volunteer positions held:
Ontario Heart and Stroke Foundation at Provincial level
Kitchener Waterloo Art Gallery, President of the Volunteer and member of the Board
YWCA board member.
Task force member for Women's Health at Waterloo Regional Health Unit
Kitchener Waterloo Symphony Orchestra, Board Member
Coda, ( Lutherwood ) board member
Grand Philharmonic Choir, Board Member
Waterloo University fundraising campaign team for Dana Porter Library
Board Member and Special Events Volunteer Chair, Cambridge Art Gallery, now known as Idea Exchange.
Member of Public Art Advisory Committee, Waterloo Regional Government.
Cambridge Arts and Culture Committee, served as chair, City of Cambridge.
Business Advisory Committee, Centre in the Square
Present Volunteer positions:
Member of Cambridge North Rotary Club
Chair, Arts Connect Cambridge, City of Cambridge
Member of the special events Committee, Idea Exchange Art and Design
Ontario Association of Art Gallery, Volunteer Award 2012
International Service Award for Polio- Free World, Rotary International 2014