Niagara College Community Employment Services 905-641-2252 ext 4670

Our Team


Terry Dow

Executive Director

Terry brings to the position more than 25 years of experience in not-for-profit management in the Chamber of Commerce and Destination Marketing Organization (DMO) industries in Southern Ontario, Saskatchewan and Alberta.

Terry has held the position of Manager of Corporate Services, the Tourism Partnership of Niagara, Executive Director at the Simcoe & District Chamber of Commerce and Thorold Chamber of Commerce as well as led DMO’s in Grande Prairie Alberta and Prince Albert Saskatchewan. She worked closely with community leaders to promote the businesses and tourism industry within those regions.

Other key positions in the not-for-profit industry include board member of the Prince Albert and District Chamber of Commerce, President and Spokesperson for the Greater Thorold Business Council, board member Phillip J. Currie Museum, board member Grande Prairie Volunteer Services and was a member of the Alberta Caucus Tourism Recovery Covid 19 committee.

Terry has a strong background in non-profit organizational management and has a proven track record of interacting with local boards, elected officials, community stakeholders and industry partners.

After spending a few years in western Canada, Terry is excited to return to Niagara where her passion for community leadership was born. She owned Destination Marketing Services in Thorold from 2004-2015 that provided contractual services to the City of Thorold to lead their tourism department.

Outside of the office, Terry enjoys time in the outdoors. She also relishes time with her three grown children and two fur babies, Charlie and Ollie.


Board of Directors

David Veres, Chair

The Centre for Leading and Learning

David spent over 23 years as an educator and administrator at Niagara College. Prior to retirement he was the Associate Vice-President of Academic and Learner Services at the college and was engaged in numerous college and community initiatives.

Most recently he has joined The Centre for Leading and Living, where he provides consulting services associated with leadership development, strategic planning, policy analysis, quality assurance and curriculum development. He also teaches at Niagara University in their Ph.D. Leadership and Policy Program, and supports Master’s Thesis students at Royal Roads University.

David holds a Ph.D. in Leadership & Policy, MA in Leadership, BA (honours) in Geography, and a Diploma in Recreation Leadership. He is actively involved in a number of community boards and committees including; 2021 Canada Games, QUEST Community Health Centre, YMCA of Niagara, and the Welland Development Commission.

He lives with his wife Louise in Fonthill and enjoys hiking, baseball, and bridge. He joined the Leadership Niagara board in January of 2018 and is looking forward to supporting the development of community leaders in Niagara.

Ruth Gatzke, Treasurer

Regional Vice President, Wealth Services
WM Gateway Inc.

I grew up in Niagara on a small fruit farm. Like many young people at that time, left the area for the big city to pursue an education and work opportunities. After getting married to another small-town soul, we decided to raise our family back in Niagara.  We now live on a 15-acre organic farm that my husband runs. We have a 40 member CSA, attend two farmers’ markets and work with a few local restaurants. We also partner with Pelham Cares through our corporate donorship program.

I spent most of my career at CIBC, the last 15 years in leadership roles. I decided to explore credit unions as their values and commitment to local community aligns with mine.

During the last 8 years, I enjoyed working with two regional credit unions leading their investment and wealth departments. I recently accepted a role with WM Gateway Inc. as their Regional Vice President, Wealth Services. Here I am working with a number of small to mid-sized credit unions in Ontario. I support their growth and help them enhance their member experience.

I joined Leadership Niagara in 2017.

Valerie Sadler

Associate Executive Director, Organizational Excellence
Mission Services

Jessica Coutinho

Community Market Manager

Jessica has worked with RBC Royal Bank for more than 20 years. She has worked in numerous roles within Personal & Commercial Banking, HR and Strategy. As a Community Manager, Jessica leads the branches within St. Catharines bringing RBC’s vision of helping clients thrive & communities prosper to life.

Jessica completed her B.A at the University of Toronto. She has also completed her HR Certification through Niagara college. Jessica and her family live in Grimsby since 2013.

With a passion of developing leaders, Jessica is looking forward to supporting the development of community leaders in Niagara.

Tracy Fazzari

Director, Patient Care, Oncology and Palliative Care
Niagara Health

Tracy is a motivated and experienced leader with a focus on healthcare, change management, and strategic planning. Much of her career has developed in the Niagara Region where she supported the rehabilitation of patients in community and hospital settings for more than 15 years as a Speech and Language Pathologist.

This work included the establishment of an independently run private practice. In addition to clinical services, Tracy has lectured within the Applied Linguistics department at Brock University in an adjunct role. Within all of these areas, her strength and passion was with clinical mentorship.

Tracy is a strong communicator, presenter, and business case developer. She has had the privilege of participating in multiple redevelopment projects, which has expanded her knowledge of finance, planning, and organizational development. Tracy appreciates the political lens within healthcare and strives to align the organization’s strategic plan within her portfolio to the expectations of the province and other governing bodies.

Tracy is very much looking forward to supporting other leaders within the region where she was born, raised, and works today. She truly loves Niagara for all that it has to offer. When she is not working, you can find her on the lake paddle boarding, on the trails biking, and at the wineries appreciating the local harvests!

Meredith Maxwell

Manager of Communications and Engagement
Niagara Region Public Health

Meredith Maxwell is a public health communications professional with more than 15 years of progressive public relations, crisis communications and event management experience. She is currently the Manager of Communications and Engagement at Niagara Region Public Health and leads a team of professionals who are responsible for the Region’s pandemic communications.

Meredith has a Master of Public Relations from Mount Saint Vincent University and a Bachelor of Arts in Business Communications from Brock University.

She and her family live in Vineland.

Tara Stephens

City Clerk
City of Welland

Tara has been working for the City of Welland for over 14 years. During this time she has held multiple positions within the Clerk’s Division. Tara has been the City Clerk for over 5 years. As City Clerk, Tara is entrusted with the responsibility of recording the decisions which constitute the building blocks for the municipality. In addition, Tara is responsible for ensuring legislative processes are followed and oversight of the protection of public records.

Tara has two diplomas from Niagara College being Office Administration (Executive) and Occupational Health and Safety. In addition, Tara has successfully completed multiple programs through the Association of Municipal Managers, Clerks and Treasurers of Ontario (AMCTO), which includes Municipal Finance, Administration, Law and Human Resources.

Residing in Welland with her husband and son, Tara is looking forward to becoming more involved in inspiring leadership, and working alongside successful individuals to create new innovative and imaginative approaches to civic leadership and learning in the Niagara Region.


Program Advisory Committee

Ann Harrison - Chair

Retired Educational Leader

Why do I care / why I am I involved with Leadership Niagara?

Why am I part of LN?

I know that Niagara is stronger because of the diversity of people working collaboratively to improve every aspect of our lives. I am excited to be part of a dynamic team of community-minded individuals at Leadership Niagara. As we work together to create a responsive curriculum that engages participants and connects them with future volunteer opportunities, I find I learn from their wealth of knowledge which continually enhances my own leadership journey.

What do I bring to the team?

Professional career in educational leadership, pedagogical development, and program delivery
Volunteer experience in leadership with service clubs and not-for-profits in Niagara
Enthusiasm for continuing to learn and grow as a community leader in Niagara

What do I bring to the team?

Caitlin Armstrong - Co Chair

Human Resources Business Partner
Meridian Credit Union

Why do I care / why I am I involved with Leadership Niagara?

I am involved with Leadership Niagara because I love being part of a group comprised of individuals who are just as passionate as I am about the communities we serve.  I get energized by the ability to help shape the programs that contribute to the success if Niagara’s future leaders.

What do I bring to the team?

  • An academic and career background in human behaviour, performance management and leadership development.

  • A life long Niagara resident who has a deep understanding of the communities challenges and opportunities.

  • Passion for Diversity & Inclusion

Sheldon King

Information Technology Professional
Meridian Credit Union

Why do I care / why I am I involved with Leadership Niagara?

Why am I involved with Leadership Niagara?

Being part of a non-visible minority provides me with a unique perspective on diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging which I integrate and use to my advantage to be supportive and contribute to the communities in which I live and work. Through leadership and communication, we can bring change to the world. I love making a positive impact where ever I can and am often characterized as having a direct, forward, and go-getter-type of attitude.

LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/sheldontking/

What do I bring to the team?

  • I am an Information Technology Professional in Niagara for almost 20 years with a wide variety of expertise

  • I bring a level of tenacity and enthusiasm with my go-getter type of personality

  • As a member and advocate of the 2SLGBTQ+ community, I bring a unique perspective on the world

Mike Britton

Britton Consulting

Why do I care / why I am I involved with Leadership Niagara?

Mike Britton was born and raised in the City of St Catharines where his family has lived for over 5 generations.

Mike graduated from the University of Western Ontario with a Double Major in Medical Science and Classical Studies.

At the age of 24, he was elected as the youngest City Councillor in St Catharines history.

Outside of government, Mike operated a Niagara property management business which oversaw buildings from across Niagara. He also works on political campaigns across the province. In 2020, Mike moved into the realm of digital media as an Associate Producer and Guest Relations Manager of a new national cable tv news show called ‘Canadian Justice’.

Mike is very involved in the community, serving on many local volunteer boards including Crime Stoppers of Niagara, Links for Greener Learning, The Facer District Merchants and Residents Association, the Royal Canadian Legion Branch 24, the Royal Canadian Naval Association, Horse Cents for Kids, and the Paderewski Society Home.

He’s also a member of the St. Catharines Rotary Club, Junior Chamber International (JCI) St. Catharines, United Way’s GenNext Cabinet, Seymour Masonic Lodge, and regularly volunteers for Habitat for Humanity’s salvage team.

In 2021, Mike joined Leadership Niagara’s Program Advisory Committee because he wants Niagara to win and knows we need good leaders in all areas of society to achieve that. Mike is always looking for opportunities to contribute to our Region’s continuing success and believes investing in our upcoming leaders is a vital component: that is Leadership Niagara’s mission.

What do I bring to the team?

  • Community building, development, and collaboration experience from my time as an elected official.

  • Strong, long-term relationships with many Niagara community groups, agencies, and governments.

  • A great deal of board experience with many Niagara not-for-profits and charities covering a diverse range of topics and services.

  • Passionate commitment to help make our Niagara community an incredible place to live, work, and play.

Kashif Siraj

IT Portfolio Manager
Niagara Region

Why do I care / why I am I involved with Leadership Niagara?

Over 20 years of problem-solving and consensus-building through effective communication and embracing diverse perspectives. A certified PMP and PRINCE2 Electrical Engineer with a proven track record of delivering successful business outcomes by aligning teams and processes with frameworks and strategies. A firm believer in the power of inclusive leadership and striving to empower individuals at all levels of the organization to foster self-sustaining growth. Prioritizing empathy and transparency to create a positive work culture as a personal approach to leadership.

Why do I care / why I am I involved with Leadership Niagara?

I am a firm believer in the power of inclusive leadership and am always striving to empower individuals at all levels of the organization to foster self-sustaining growth. My personal approach to leadership is to prioritize empathy and transparency to create a positive work culture. I am honored to be a part of LN program as it allows me an opportunity to not just give back but also learn from the folks who have been doing it for so long.

What do I bring to the team?

  • A career in delivering Project leadership across multiple continents

  • Problem-solving mindset and consensus-building excellence

  • Passion for growth for self and others through sharing knowledge and experiences

Michelle Ross

Organizational Development Consultant
Niagara Health

Why do I care / why I am I involved with Leadership Niagara?

I am passionate about developing and empowering the emerging leaders in our community. The unique developmental experiences offered by Leadership Niagara are a wonderful way to invest in the people of Niagara while positively impacting the growth of our community.

What do I bring to the team?

  • Background in Human Resources and Organizational Development with specific expertise in leadership development

  • Experience in adult education, curriculum design and delivery

  • A passion for inspiring learners through diverse experiences

  • Commitment to building a community of leaders

Julie Greco

Communications Professional
Niagara College

Why do I care / why I am I involved with Leadership Niagara?

Julie Greco is a Niagara-based communications professional who is passionate about shining the spotlight on inspiring people, initiatives, and experiences.

She began her career in Journalism and has worked for print publications both in Toronto and Niagara for more than 13 years – as a reporter, writer, columnist and editor for newspapers and magazines. She worked her way up to senior editorial positions which included managing editor at Post City Magazines and editor-in-chief at Our Kids Publications.

After living and working in Toronto for about a decade, Julie returned to the Niagara region – where she grew up – in 2009. She worked at Niagara’s daily newspapers as an editor and as a reporter prior to transitioning to communications.

Since 2011, she has applied her expertise to communications roles at Niagara College, through periods of tremendous growth and change.

Julie is a proud graduate of Leadership Niagara’s Accelerate Civic Leadership program (Class of 2022) where she collaborated with a small team on a community project to assist the SPCA Niagara.

Her enthusiasm for the program sparked a desire to continue her involvement with Leadership Niagara and continue giving back. Soon after graduating from the program, she jumped at an opportunity to join LN’s dedicated PAC team.
As a PAC member, Julie looks forward to the next chapter of her Leadership Niagara journey. She values the opportunity to be a part of the continued success of Leadership Niagara’s transformational programming and to help drive it forward into the future. Along the way, she hopes to inspire more local professionals to get involved in the Niagara community and to help make a difference.

What do I bring to the team?

Karen Ogidigben

Human Resources Manager
Algoma Central

Why do I care / why I am I involved with Leadership Niagara?

Passionate about people, a problem solver, and a critical thinker. An advocate of DEI, Global people and culture professional with more than 11 years’ experience across 5 continents with a strongly developed capacity in Strategic Human Resources Management: Recruitment and Training, Talent Development, Learning and Development, Employee Relations, Employee Engagement, Workforce and Resource planning, HR Policy design and implementation, Payroll, Compensation and Benefits, Performance Management, Union Negotiations, Labor Laws and Employment Regulatory Compliance, Mergers and Acquisitions, HR systems and Data Management, Stakeholder and Vendor Management, Culture and Diversity Initiatives and Occupational Health, Safety and Environment.

Karen has worked for several multinational companies in the Transport and Logistics industry, in senior management and decision-making positions and managed over 1,600 employees from more than 26 nationalities, and 15 direct HR reports, mentoring and coaching them towards career development and progression.

Karen is a team player, very dedicated, organized, proactive, empathetic, and understands the role of HR in an organization. Karen holds an MBA in business administration, has engaged in several conferences related to HR and has been a keynote speaker, sharing her knowledge and experience in Human Resources, Learning and Development, workforce engagement and Organizational Leadership.

Karen is an advocate for mental health and interested in culture, diversity, and equality. Karen is looking to bring her knowledge in the learning and development field both as a train the trainer, a training developer and facilitator to PAC with the intent to impact the Niagara Region.

What do I bring to the team?

Katie McQuestion

Campus Safety and Emergency Management Coordinator
Niagara College

Why do I care / why I am I involved with Leadership Niagara?

Katie McQuestion is an emergency manager with over 16 years of experience in the field. She has spent much of her career working with the provinces of Ontario and Alberta and joined the Niagara College community as the Emergency Management Coordinator in February of 2019.

Katie’s primary focus is the development and implementation of plans, policies, procedures, and training relating to the safety of students, staff, and visitors at Niagara College’s campuses. She was a key member of the college’s COVID-19 response team where she provided situational awareness, interpretation of legislation, mandates, and orders, facilitated departmental risk assessments, and contributed to the development COVID-specific policies, procedures, and training.

Prior to joining Niagara College, Katie worked as the Manager of Stakeholder Relations and Learning Design with the Alberta Emergency Management Agency and as the National/International Liaison Officer with Emergency Management Ontario. Throughout her career, Katie has had the opportunity to support many communities responding to significant emergency events, including the Fort McMurray wildfire, annual spring flooding, G8/G20, and severe weather events.

As a graduate of Leadership Niagara (class of 2021), Katie is pleased to join the PAC. She’s excited to work with the dedicated and talented Leadership Niagara team to continue to inspire and encourage Niagara’s future leaders.

What do I bring to the team?

Brian DiSimoni

Human Resources Generalist
CAA Niagara

Why do I care / why I am I involved with Leadership Niagara?

My involvement with Leadership Niagara brings immense joy and fulfillment as I collaborate with a passionate group of individuals dedicated to making a positive impact on our communities. Together, we share a vision for the betterment of our region. What excites me is the opportunity to contribute to transformative programs that shape future leaders in Niagara. I leverage my skills and experiences to foster personal growth, leadership development, and community engagement among emerging leaders. Witnessing their transformation into confident and influential individuals fuels my passion. Being part of a collective effort that invests in individuals, equipping them with the necessary skills, knowledge, and networks to thrive, is an honor. Engaging with Leadership Niagara expands my perspective, challenging me to think innovatively and enhance my own leadership capabilities. My involvement signifies my commitment to the growth and success of our communities, striving to create empowered leaders who can address complex challenges with integrity and vision.

What do I bring to the team?

Susan Reinhart

Registered Nurse (Public Health)
Niagara Region Public Health and Emergency Services

Why do I care / why I am I involved with Leadership Niagara?

Susan is here because she has a passion for health equity and knows that improving social determinants of health is best done at a community level. As a lifelong resident of Niagara, she is committed to developing and working within community partnerships to help create a stronger and more diverse Niagara. Throughout a substantial and interesting career in healthcare, Susan has consistently engaged others and advocated for positive change. Having just emerged from frontline work throughout the Global COVID-19 Pandemic, she’s perfectly poised to inspire leaders and empower communities

What do I bring to the team?

  • Leadership experience in a variety of healthcare settings, including committee work, policy and procedure development and quality improvement initiatives.

  • Current perspectives and new creative ideas, always an out of the box thinker. Susan has a commitment to ongoing Adult Learning and as a nurse leader, wife and mother achieved a BScN (with distinction) in 2020.

  • Critical thinking, an inclusive team approach and natural ability to mentor and support others. And always a positive can-do attitude!