Leadership & Management Team

Karen Hirstwood
Executive Director, Catulpa Community Support Services
Vicky Schenk
Director of Services
Mitchell Stewart
Manager of Financial Services
Murray Hutchings
Human Resources Consultant
Stephanie Rumball
Manager of Communications and Special Projects
Rosslyn Junke
Manager of Community Action Program for Children and Canada Prenatal Nutrition Programs of Simcoe County
Mahendra Patel
Manager of Information Technology and Information Systems
Kim Latour
Manager of Quality Assurance
Carolyn Walsh
Children's Services Manager
Nicole Hamilton
Adult Services Manager
Christa Sage-Harris
Regional Complex Care Manager
Louise Posius
Senior Executive Assistant
Francine Kerr
Manager of Human Resources

Board of Directors

Debbie DeCaire
Chair of the Board

Debbie has always enriched the lives of people with unique needs and challenges. Her focus is enabling others around her to better themselves and their lives.  She has a pragmatic approach. Is committed and passionate about her community. 

She seeks out those who need help and has delivered live altering services and opportunities to them. She has initiated and led change through her role as President of the Barrie Chamber of Commerce, President of the Rotary Club of Barrie, member of the Ripple of Kindness, key stakeholder in the recent nursing degree program at Georgian College along with supporting the Starlight Foundation for several years.

Couple these accomplishments with her role in “Childfind” for many years along with her sole initiative to develop, source, fund raise and coach an adaptive Rowing program here in Barrie which she took across Canada. For this incredible successful effort Debbie was awarded the “Queens Diamond Jubilee”      

Her love of people extends much deeper to her family where she spends a significant amount of her free time. Her accomplishments are complemented by a very successful business career. Highlights include senior management at Scotiabank/ScotiaMcLeod (Financial management and investing) as well Debbie bought a business and successfully operated this business until she sold the business in 2017.

She enjoys traveling, reading, boating, fitness, cooking and time with friends.

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Heather Sperdakos
Past Chair

Heather has a passion for transformative learning and leadership. She is dedicated to enhancing individual and organizational potential through vision, creativity, and connection. She has a diverse background in workplace learning, organization development, and positive change leadership. She holds a Doctorate in Education.

I am inspired by the Catulpa vision, mission and values. Recognizing and valuing the contribution we each make, working collaboratively, and making a difference in the lives of the individuals and communities we serve are values I aspire to live daily. I am honoured to be working with an organization that delivers services built on the strengths, uniqueness, hopes and dreams of the people we serve.

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Michael Ilori
Vice Chair

Michael is a Certified Public Accountant (CPA) with over three decades of finance professional experience in both large, complex public and private sectors. While serving as Board Secretary Treasurer with an Inuit based corporation, he worked with diverse non-for-profit organizations, working with the government of Nunavut to assist and support them in different challenges encountered with third parties funded initiatives.

“I am honored to serve as a member of the board of directors for Catulpa and interested in utilizing my wealth of experience to assist with the vision and mission of the organization.”

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Karen Johnson

I am a driven, passionate, and entrepreneurial business professional with over 20 years’ experience in providing consistent financial leadership. Extending to both publicly traded and privately held multinational corporations.

My area of expertise ranges from end to end accounting and General ledger management,  preparation, audit, and analysis of financial statements (single entity and group consolidated), internal controls infrastructure, business management, risk management and strategic planning, analysis, and monitoring.

“I consider myself to be a lifelong learner and believe in the pivotal role that continuous learning and development offers. Driven by my passion for people and my drive to serve, I volunteer in various capacities and actively champions the “pay it forward” motto.”

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George Hawtin

George Hawtin is the Executive Director and Law Librarian of the Simcoe County Law Association. An experienced library leader and Certified Human Resources Professional currently pursuing doctoral study in board governance, George has served on, advised, and observed countless non-profit boards. As someone living with cerebral palsy, George is passionate about Catulpa’s mission.

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Karrol Croteau
Board Member

Karrol has been part of the child and family mental health sector for over two decades, an experience that has provided her with a wealth of in-depth knowledge. In her role as a School Counsellor for the SMCDSB, she witnesses the daunting struggles of families coping with children who have mild to very significant challenges. She has also seen the role of agencies such as Catulpa.

Karrol finds her Board of Directors role rewarding as it enables her to support Catulpa’s prominent role in the community as a lead support agency and to garner acknowledgement for the level of care provided to families.

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Tess Buchanan
Board Member

As a social worker, Tess has a strong respect for the inherent dignity and worth of every person. Interested in the pursuit of social justice, Tess values dignity, integrity and service to humanity.

“I live, work and am guided by the values that originally brought me to social work.”

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Jo-Ann White-McKenna
Board Member

Jo-Ann joined Catulpa’s Board of Directors after finishing a thirty year career in public education. She was a classroom teacher, curriculum consultation, vice principal and principal through the Simcoe County school system. She holds a Masters Degree in Education and has taught for York University Faculty of Education. She credits her time on the Elizabeth Fry Board of Directors for her volunteerism.

Jo-Ann  had the good fortune to see how Catulpa supported and guided many of my students and their families. She is excited to work with this amazing organization so they can continue to positively impact lives in our communities.

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Ann Reed
Board Member

Ann is the parent of three adult sons, one of whom has autism. Ann has used her experience as a parent of a child with special needs to advocate for her son’s inclusion in the community, which has enabled him to achieve his aspirations in various ways. This was made possible with the help of Catulpa Community Support Services, which provides specialized services and resources, and upholds a mission, vision, and values that support individuals and families in achieving their greatest potential. 

Ann also serves on the Board of Directors, which has provided her with valuable experience and an opportunity to give back to the community by assisting other families in fulfilling their dreams for their loved ones to participate in their community and reside in a happy and fulfilling environment.

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Trevor Anderson
Board Member

Trevor is a Chartered Professional Accountant with over a decade of public sector finance experience working for the Ontario Government and public agencies. He also holds a Master’s degree in Public Administration from the University of Waterloo where he now also teaches part-time as a professor for a public sector finance course.

“I feel very fortunate to have the opportunity to collaborate and support Catulpa in delivering on its mission and vision to provide incredibly important community support programs.”

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Kathy Chen-Hammond
Board Member

Kathy Chen is the Controller at Canadian Base Operators Inc. and four affiliated companies under Black and McDonald Limited. She is currently pursuing her MBA at Queen’s University (Class 2025). Kathy has lived and worked in Barrie and the surrounding areas since 2007 and enjoys volunteering with focuses on seniors and youth groups. In addition to be on the board with Catulpla, she is the Treasurer at MacLaren Art Centre in Barrie. In the past, Kathy was the funding treasurer for Rotaract Club of Barrie as well as a treasurer for Simcoe County Young Professionals Association. In addition to community services and art appreciation, in her spare time, Kathy practices hot yoga, Pilates and enjoys spending time with her husband and daughter.  

“Everybody can be great...because anybody can serve. You don't have to have acollege degree to serve. You don't have to make your subject and verb agree toserve. You only need a heart full of grace. A soul generated by love.”

―Martin Luther King Jr.

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