Sam is passionate about helping people and groups achieve their goals. In her 13 years with Family Councils Ontario (formerly Family Councils’ Program) she has supported thousands of family members and long-term care home staff improve their work to achieve the best possible outcomes and meaningful impacts. In her role as Executive Director, she focuses on building and maintaining relationships with funders, stakeholders, and interconnected organizations to carry out activities that support FCO's mission & developing strategies that enable the organization to create positive change within the long-term care sector.
Sam holds an Honours B.A. from York University. A dedicated lifelong learner, she also holds Advanced Client-Directed Case Management and Volunteer Management post-graduate certificates from Humber College, Project Management Certificate from the University of Toronto, a Masters Certificate in Adult Training and Development from the Schulich Executive Education Centre, and is currently working on a Voluntary Sector Management Certificate from Ryerson University.
In her spare time, Sam is an avid athlete, reader, volunteer, and sci-fi fan. Fun fact: she has 3 cats!
Policy & Research Manager
Tiffany is passionate about enhancing Long-Term Care through policy dialogue and community engagement to ensure Ontarians have equitable access to quality care. Tiffany holds an Honours B.A. from the University of Toronto in Gender Studies, Sociology and Criminology and obtained a Post Graduate Certificate with Honours in Alternative Dispute Resolution from Humber College. Her most recent academic feat was the completion of a Public Policy & Administration certificate from the University of Guelph. Tiffany joined the FCO team in 2018 to head Client Services and transitioned into the Policy & Research Manager position in Fall 2021. Although her role has shifted, she will continue to lead the organization’s Diversity & Inclusion and Conflict Resolution portfolios.
Tiffany has one daughter and is an avid dance and soccer mom. In her spare time she enjoys reading, watching netflix series, and spending time with family and friends.
Cathleen is excited to join the Family Councils Ontario team. Her passion to support families and advocate for inclusion draw inspiration from her work as a Recreation Professional in Long-Term Care.
Cathleen holds an Honours Bachelor of Human Kinetics from the University of Windsor and a Master of Arts in Health & Physical Education from Brock University. While at Brock University, she completed the Instructional Skills Workshop (ISW) and earned her Graduate Teaching Assistant Practicum Certificate from the Centre for Teaching, Learning and Educational Technology. She is an experienced instructor, facilitating courses in Physical Education, Recreation and Gerontology at Brock University, the University of Alberta, Seneca College and Durham College.
Prior to commencing her new role with Family Councils Ontario, Cathleen was the Work package 1 Coordinator for AGEWELL based out of the Toronto Rehabilitation Institute and a Professor in the Activation Coordination in Gerontology Program at Durham College.
In her spare time she enjoys swimming, singing, playing her Alto Saxophone and keeping up with her active toddler.
Natacha is a Registered Social Service Worker and has been involved with older adults in Northern Ontario since 2001. She was heavily involved with falls prevention for 12 years and co-chaired for 6 of those years. She started her career in the retirement home atmosphere and transitioned to not-for-profit work in 2007 as the Northern Ontario Area Manager for Osteoporosis Canada. Natacha knows and understands the North and what each committee has to offer in both official languages. In 2015, Natacha joined the Alzheimer’s Society of Sudbury and Manitoulin Island where she was the First Link coordinator and Family Counsellor where she went through extensive training to understand and help people and families deal with Dementia.
In her spare time she is a hockey mom to her young son and enjoys spending time with her family and aging grandmother.
Equity, Diversity and Inclusion Manager
Dinesh comes to FCO with a plethora of diverse experiences. His portfolio includes working with governments, corporations and NGOs across most continents, empowering young leaders on active global citizenship, and facilitating various climate change initiatives. Pre-pandemic he spent three years volunteering in Jamaica developing projects to address poverty, mental health and organic farming.
Growing up in Rexdale, Toronto, Dinesh is familiar with the issues of equity and justice that weave through Canadian society. Having lived in collective and individualistic societies, plus numerous natural disasters, he experienced the importance of supporting and strengthening family networks. Dinesh joins FCO to further develop inclusive communities and support a holistic growth process through equitable programming.
Dinesh has a Honours B.A. in Business Management from the Rotman School of Management, University of Toronto and a MSc., with Distinction, in Sustainable Urban Development from the University of Oxford.
In his life away from work, Dinesh curates music of various global genres. When he’s not out exploring some wilderness, you can find him listening to and learning the world of Jazz.
Client Services Manager
Liane is passionate about Making a Difference and helping others, but most particularly those living, working and family members in LTC. She has 19.5 years of experience of working in a LTC home as a Resident and Family Services Coordinator, helping support residents and families as they transitioned into LTC. Part of her role was being the Staff Liaison for the home’s Family Council. Her years of experience helped her to develop great skills in communicating with and supporting families, residents and staff in LTC. Liane holds a background in Social Work. She is also Pieces and Ufirst Trained. She is a certified Gentle Persuasive Approach Coach through Behavioural Specialist of Ontario. Through the years she has gained knowledge, experience and training in Palliative Care, Customer Service and Person Centred Care Approach. Throughout her career in LTC she has been involved in Strategic Planning, Goal Planning, Accreditation and Ministry Compliance. In her personal life, Liane loves to spend time with her family creating memories. She enjoys listening to music and watching home improvement shows, providing her husband of 31 years with a lengthy to do list.
Leah is a creative, and passionate communicator who believes that the power of our language and word choice can be transformative. Prior to joining the team at FCO, they spent 5 years working with non-profit organizations across several sectors including education, gender-based violence, equitable food systems, and older adults services. Leah completed a BSc. In Actuarial Science, and a MMASc. in Management Sciences, both from Western University. They are a lifelong learner and are continuing their education through regular reading and courses in graphic design. Leah brings with them a passion for mathematics, a knack for creative problem solving, a thriving houseplant collection, and love for two three dogs!
Expressive Writing Project Coordinator
John is Coordinator of the Expressive Writing Project for Family Councils Ontario. In partnership with the Toronto Writer's Collective, the purpose of this initiative is to provide caregivers who work on behalf of their loved ones, long term care residents, with the confidence and capacity to advocate effectively. Through workshops, led by the TWC Facilitators, participants gain insights into their innate capacity to be strong partners in the community of Long Term Care Advocacy as they explore their creative writing potential.
John is in his twelfth year as Chair and President of the Garry J. Armstrong Family and Friends Council in Ottawa. His dedication and compassion for the well-being of residents have enabled him to be a strong partner within the caring team of Managers, staff, volunteers and other participants engaged in ensuring the levels of care residents deserve.
His professional background as a public servant centered on various roles in a national capacity leading teams engaged in programs supporting strong human resources and career development and labour market capacity building. He brokered major initiatives involving the federal and provincial governments and Industry Sector Councils and received recognition through national awards and commendations for his leadership.
On a more personal note, he also is a certified sommelier and wine consultant and has conducted numerous workshops on the responsible adoption of wine as a quality of life enhancement and personal enjoyment.
Graphic Designer & Layout Artist
Marcus is extremely happy to be apart of the Family Councils Ontario team.
His artistic passion has taken him through a range of experiences, starting in elementary school where he was known for making creative name tags for his classmates. This passion evolved in high school as he designed school merchandise and spirit wear for teams including badminton, basketball and science Olympics. Now in his undergraduate years, his artistic creativity has taken on social media as he became the graphic designer for the Learning Disabilities Awareness Club, Western Words Matter, and local sports teams and businesses.
The enthusiastic, self-taught graphic designer is excited to use his creative intuition and artistic ability to help improve the quality of life of those in long-term care and their families.
Outside of his artistic ambitions, he is an incoming fourth-year Kinesiology student at Western University who hopes to continue studying after graduation in medical school or the MPT/PhD program at Western. He is also the captain of a local cricket team, avid reader, and Marvel fan.
Health Policy Research Analyst
Amena is passionate about helping others and contributing to the greater good of society.
She holds an Honours Bachelor of Arts from McMaster University with a double major in Health Studies and Gerontology. Her education has provided her with a framework of knowledge related to health policy, aging, and the social determinants of health. She also has experience working and volunteering with older adults both in the community and a long-term care home. She has previously completed a practicum at a long-term care home as a Recreational Therapist Assistant which provided her real-life experience of the long-term care home system. Additionally, she has over three years of volunteer experience with homeless seniors in Hamilton where she organized lunches and activities to help reduce food precarity and feelings of loneliness and isolation.
She hopes to combine both her education and experience to help advance the lives and wellbeing of older adults, their families, and workers in the elder care sector. Amena will be continuing her studies in a Master of Public Policy at the University of Toronto Munk School of Public Policy and Global Affairs.
In her spare time, she enjoys spending time with family and friends, trying new restaurants, and doing DIY crafts.