2015/2016 Board of Directors
Sarah Chiasserini, CPA, CA, BSc (Hons) is a Chartered Accountant and works as a Senior Manager in the audit and assurance department at BDO Canada LLP. She has over 15 years experience in public accounting both in Canada and in the UK. She serves private and public company clients in a variety of industries including mining, manufacturing and real estate.
Sarah was born and raised in the UK and came to Canada in 2005. She lives in North Pickering where she owns and operates a small private horse boarding facility. As well as being a certified English riding coach, she enjoys trail riding on her own horses, competing at show jumping competitions and hiking.
She is an active member of Institute of Chartered Accountants of Ontario, Ontario Equestrian Federation (OEF), Equine Canada, Women in Mining (WIM), Canadian Institute of Mining (CIM) and on the Board of a small NPO for a cooperative school in Brooklin. She has previous experience serving as a board member on equestrian clubs and associations in the UK.
A founding board member of the Oak Ridges Moraine Land Trust since its inception in 2000, Mary Dubé is typical of the spirit behind the creation of regional Land Trusts. Like many who take action on local and social justice issues at the grass roots level, getting involved leads to more. Environmental issues have always been a passion for Mary and that's not just due to her proximity to the Moraine with a hobby farm in Uxbridge Township for the past 15 years. Believing that we are privileged to be able to stand up, speak out and take action, she is an engaged idealist who wants to leave the world a better place - because citizens working together can make a positive, lasting difference.
Joan Egwuonwu has work experience in environmental management, stakeholder engagement and corporate social responsibility. She has her Masters degree in Environmental Studies with a post graduate certificate in Business and Environment from Schulich School of Business - York University. She interned at Chevron and did some volunteer work with the Natural Environment Department at the Town of Richmond Hill. Joan loves traveling, fitness and the outdoors.
Brent Elson is Senior Manager with KPMG’s Financial Institutions Audit practice. He has been with KPMG since 2000 and spent time in both Dublin, Ireland and London, UK. He leads the audit engagements of number of large banking and other financial services clients in the GTA. He is a member of the Canadian Institute of Chartered Accountants and the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Ontario, and has a Masters of Accounting from the University of Waterloo.
Brent loves cycling, hiking, golfing and cottage life.He lives at the edge of the Oak Ridges Moraine in Aurora, Ontario with his family, but is originally from Halifax, Nova Scotia. Brent’s objective is to help protect the natural environment of the Oak Ridges Moraine and encourage strategies and activities to sustainably manage its water resources.
Chris Norris is an accomplished professional engineer and management consultant with a diverse 15 year career in the energy, aeronautical engineering, and financial services fields. Following 7 years in detailed aerodynamic design and analysis for Canada’s leading jet engine manufacturer, he changed gears and began management consulting with one of Canada’s banks. He now acts as an independent consultant in the energy and utilities sector.
From work with the Graduate Students Association's board and executive at McMaster to teaching English in the Ecuadorian rainforest, his volunteer work is also diverse. He currently volunteers with Engineers Without Borders and Junior Achievement.
He holds a B. Sc. from Queen’s University, an M. Eng. from McMaster, and an MBA from the Schulich School of Business at York University. He has been a licensed professional engineer since 2000. He lives in Aurora with his wife and three kids, and enjoys sailing, organic gardening and hiking on the Moraine.
Nicholas Schulz is an accomplished communications professional with experience including media relations, internal communications and public consultation. Nic's work has spanned from national media campaigns with the Looneyspoons authors Janet and Greta Podleski to community consultation on Source Water Protection with the Toronto and Region Conservation Authority. He is currently working with Socially and Environmentally Responsible Aggregate (SERA) to develop voluntary, third party audited, certification for the aggregate sector which truly speaks to the needs and concerns of Ontario.
Being fortunate enough to live on the Oak Ridges Moraine, surrounded by hiking, biking and skiing trails, Nic regularly encourages friends and family to come visit and experience the beauty of the Moraine first hand. He considers the Trust's work for this important landform, so close to Canada's largest city, a priority for protecting high economic, environmental and social value in our community for years to come.
Frank Shaw is a retired Executive Manager (Ontario Public Service) with 40 years of experience in governance, resources management and land-use planning with several Ontario ministries and non-profit agencies including the St. Lawrence Parks Commission and the Niagara Escarpment Commission. He graduated in 1967 with a B.Sc. in Biology and became a Professional Agrologist (P.Ag.) in 1973. Frank has also been a volunteer advisor/consultant in non-profit leadership for local conservation and community groups in Pennsylvania and Ontario.
Frank joined the Oak Ridges Moraine Land Trust in 2001 and has served as Director, Land Chair, Secretary and Vice President. Since 2012, he has been with the Ontario Farmland Trust and is currently Board Secretary and Governance Chair. In 2015, he was appointed to the Board of the Ontario Land Trust Alliance (OLTA). Frank is also joint owner/manager of the family century farm in Norfolk County and a managed escarpment forest in Bruce County.
Patricia Short-Gallé is a long time resident of the City of Pickering. Since 2001 and until her retirement as Regional Manager, Green Space & Outreach with Transport Canada in August 2007, Patricia led the federal Green Space initiative to protect approximately 7,500 acres, including the Oak Ridges Moraine portion of the federal holdings in Pickering as Green space for future generations. Patricia was a member of the Duffins Watershed Task Force, the Rouge Watershed Task Force, the Duffins/Carruthers Watershed Resource Group and the Rouge Park Improvement & Heritage Committee.
Patricia was appointed by the Toronto & Region Conservation Authority and is a member at large on the Walker Woods & Glenn Major Stewardship Committee focused primarily on the northern portion of Durham Region; and is a member of the Oak Ridges Corridor Park East - Management Plan Public Advisory Committee.
In addition to serving as the Chair of the Oak Ridges Moraine Land Trust and a member of the Fundraising Committee, Patricia serves on the Board of Governors for the Ontario Land Trust Alliance and was a member on the Board of Trustees for the United Way Ajax, Pickering, Uxbridge and Chair of the Community Investment Cabinet.
Leanne Stevens is a Real Estate Agent with RE/MAX Hallmark York Group in Aurora, specializing in residential real estate in York Region. Prior to joining the real estate profession, Leanne spent 25 years in the technology industry, with 20 of those years at Toshiba Canada. As Vice-President of Sales for the Notebook Computer Division, Leanne's team of sales professionals managed the Commercial, Government, Education and Reseller business in Canada. Leanne and her husband Richard have lived in Oak Ridges for 17 years, and have been actively involved in the school, volunteer and sports communities with their two sons.
A love of the green space on the Moraine and a desire to protect it for FUTURE generations, is what drew Leanne to the Land Trust.
David Swail has worked in the publishing industry in Canada for the past 25 years. Over the course of his career he has held senior roles with many of Canada’s premier publishing and media organizations, including Maclean-Hunter, Rogers, Southam, CanWest and Sun Media/Quebecor. His responsibilities have spanned magazines, newspapers, educational
publishing and web services. David has served on many industry boards and associations, and is Immediate Past President of the Canadian Publishers’ Council. David holds an M.A. in English from the University of Toronto, and an M.B.A. from the University of Western Ontario. A Vancouver native, he resides in Toronto with his wife Gabriella and their two children.
Nicholas Trevisan is a biologist and arborist with a multidisciplinary academic and professional background and four years of environmental consulting experience with Dillon Consulting Limited. His current areas of practice include natural environment impact assessment, policy review, species at risk, ecological restoration and arboriculture. He received an Honours Bachelor of Science degree with a major in Ecology from the University of Guelph and a Masters degree in Sustainable Environmental Management from the University of Saskatchewan. Nicholas grew up on the moraine and was inspired by both the land and residents who worked to conserve it. He hopes to help continue this legacy of conservation through his work with the talented staff and volunteers of the Trust. In his spare time, Nicholas enjoys exploring the Moraine, camping, running, hockey and spending time with family and friends.
Jamie Windle is a Senior Manager with BDO. Prior to his current position Jamie served with Ernst &Young in both Ottawa and Southampton, England advising clients on mergers and acquisitions. He led the audit teams for a number of clients including large foreign subsidiaries of SEC registrants, London Stock Exchange listed and private companies. Jamie also serves as a Consultant to a small owner-managed business in Carleton Place, assisting in one-time projects and on-going management functions.
A graduate of Wilfred Laurier University Bachelor of Business Administration (Hon.), Co-op Option, Dean’s Honour Roll, Jamie also holds designations as a Chartered Accountant and Certified Public Accountant.
Residing in the Credit River watershed, Jamie looks forward to contributing his expertise to the Trust while learning more about protection of the environment at the community scale.
Lissa Dwyer, Administrative Assistant
Lissa came to the Land Trust as a volunteer in 2011. Her eye for detail and passion for protecting the Moraine made her a natural for staying on in a part-time paid position in administration. Lissa’s professional background includes professional development training, business analysis with IBM and relationship sales with Lenovo. A devotion to the environmental, social and cultural sectors means she’s a busy volunteer with several organizations throughout the year in and around home town Aurora. More than just the first warm voice heard on the telephone, Lissa keeps the office records and operations in fine order, solving all the day to day glitches of the busy Trust office.
Susan Walmer, Executive Director
Susan Walmer, formerly a dedicated board member serving as Treasurer with the Land Trust, has also served and worked with Save the Oak Ridges Moraine and is a member of the Oak Ridges Trail Association. A Certified Management Accountant, Sue combines her long-held enthusiasm for community engagement, deep appreciation for Canadian historical context and concern for a healthy environmental future in this challenging position. Past work experiences including Senior Accounting and Finance Manager at American Express ensure that Sue brings the best of corporate sector practices to the non-profit realm.
Sue has served as a volunteer in fundraising and other activities with many local, national and international organizations including the Stephen Lewis Foundation, the Southlake Foundation, Heart and Stroke, and is a World Vision supporter. Sue served on the Town of Aurora Environmental Advisory Committee and as the Municipal Energy Conservation Officer. A tireless advocate on many fronts, Sue was the 2008 recipient of Aurora's Citizen of the year Award.
Kristie Virgoe, Land Securement Program Manager
Kristie Virgoe started her career with the Kawartha Conservation where she led the Stewardship and Land Protection divisions for over 8 years as the Manager of Environmental Protection and Restoration. Since that time she has worked for the Ontario Land Trust Alliance (OLTA) as Program Manager and the Muskoka Conservancy as their Executive Director from 2012 to 2015. As a busy mom, Kristie volunteers with her local school and puts her feet into action, volunteering and participating in the annual Weekend to End Women’s Cancers walks, as well as running over 200km in two years to raise money for land protection in Ontario.
Don Prince, Land Securement Manager
Don has worked in the field of land securement for over four decades and successfully completed 1,000 transactions representing over 15,000 acres of conserved lands, largely through his former role with the Toronto & Region Conservation Authority. The Land Trust currently benefits from his skills and knowledge of land management expertise with landowners on the Oak Ridges Moraine. Don was a founding member of the Oak Ridges Moraine Land Trust Board of Directors serving for a period of time as Executive Director. In addition to his contracted role with ORMLT, Don serves as a volunteer Director of the Ontario Farmland Trust where he was a founding member and to the Oak Ridges Moraine Foundation. Outside of land management activity, Don served for numerous years in church education and building committees as well as many positions in service clubs and hockey leagues.
Don's perspectives on land securement are not limited to Ontario. During the summer of 1990 he participated in a fact finding study tour of England, Scotland and Germany, investigating land acquisition techniques, recreational and environmental facilities, land conservation and trail programmes.
Sarah Chiasserini, Director
Mary Dubé, Director
Joan Egwuonwu, Director
Brent Elson, Director
Chris Norris, Chair
Nicholas Schulz , Vice Chair
Frank Shaw, Director
Patricia Short-Gallé, Past Chair
Leanne Stevens, Director
David Swail, Director
Tom Taylor, Director
Nicholas Trevisan, Director
Jamie Windle, Treasurer
Michael Zahra, Director
- Susan Walmer, Executive Director
- Lissa Dwyer, Administrative Assistant
- Kristie Virgoe, Program Manager
- Don Prince Land Securement
- Ron Dewell, Land Securement