Committed to our community

An empty conference room.

DBCS’ Board of Directors is made up of individuals who are passionate about supporting Canadians who are Deafblind and bring with them their diverse skills, knowledge and leadership qualities. Each is a dedicated advocate for the rights of Canadians who are Deafblind, with some members identifying themselves as a part of the Deafblind community. 

Penny Bennett, Chair

Headshot of Penny

Penny Bennett lives in North Bay. She grew up in Vancouver, BC but moved to Ontario during the spring of 1997. Penny is Deafblind. She speaks for herself, and the hearing she has is from cochlear implants.

Penny lived without being able to hear speech for seven years before she got her first cochlear implant in 2004.

Penny has participated in several CNIB committees at the national, provincial and regional levels. Most recently, she served as a member of the community support services committee. Penny is an advocate for people who are blind and Deafblind. She has a certificate in adult literacy and has been a client of Deafblind services since 1997.

Lindee David, Vice Chair

Headshot of Lindee

Lindee David is a strategic, innovative senior health care executive with blended experience from both the corporate and non-profit sectors. She has a proven track record of achieving business results in an evolving health care market.

Lindee has held executive roles at Janssen, a division of Johnson & Johnson Inc., as well as chief executive roles at Hemophilia Society of Canada; ALS Society of Canada; Crohn’s and Colitis Canada; and is the former CEO of Joule Inc., a subsidiary of the Canadian Medical Association. Some of Lindee’s past governance positions include director of the CMAH2019 Holdings Board, the Canadian Medical Association Foundation, the International Alliance of ALS, and Health Charities Coalition of Canada.

She has a B.P.H.E. and B.A (geography) from Queens University. Most recently, Lindee received global certification, IDP-C, Corporate Governance from INSEAD.

Over the years, Jane has been involved in many charitable organizations including the Assaulted Women’s Hotline, New Circles, Holland Bloorview, and The Shoebox Project. Most recently, she was a Puppy Raiser at CNIB where she was excited to see Maggie graduate and become a Buddy Dog.

Jane Ashford, Treasurer

Headshot of Jane

Jane Ashford lives in midtown Toronto with her husband, three children, and two energetic golden retrievers. After graduating from the University of Western Ontario, she obtained her CA (CPA) while working at Ernst & Young where she worked in the London, Toronto, and Sydney offices in both Audit and Assurance and Corporate Recovery.

After leaving public practice, Jane moved into industry and has held various finance leader positions in the automotive industry, education industry, and most recently, in the condominium industry.

Over the years, Jane has been involved in many charitable organizations including the Assaulted Women’s Hotline, New Circles, Holland Bloorview, and The Shoebox Project. Most recently, she was a Puppy Raiser at CNIB where she was excited to see Maggie graduate and become a Buddy Dog.

Ammad Anwar

Headshot of Anwar

Ammad was born in Pakistan raised in a small village and immigrated to Canada in 2011. He was th second the oldest of six children. Ammad attended the University of Punjab and began his quest to become a lawyer. He received a Bachelor of Arts and Bachelor of Laws from the University of the Punjab. Ammad worked for a year as an advocate with a leading Law Firm in Pakistan. Subsequently, he was accepted into a master’s program and he completed his Master of Laws from the University of Hertfordshire, the United Kingdom in 2011.

In 2011 he made his way to Canada and continued in his studies. Ammad attended Ryerson University, Toronto for Law Practice Program (LPP) in 2017 and articled with Impact Law in Vaughan, Ontario.

Since his move to Canada, Saskatchewan was his home, he returned to Saskatchewan in 2018 and kept working in a tax preparation firm until his articling with Riou Law Office in Unity. He was admitted to the Law Society of Saskatchewan in March 2020 and worked as an associate with Riou Law Office until March 2021. Ammad took over the firm in April and practicing as Partner with Anwar & Riou Law Office. Ammad was admitted to the Law Society of Yukon in August 2021 and currently he is providing services to Saskatchewan and Yukon residents.

Arvind Mohandoss

Headshot of Arvind

Having experience of more than 10 years in Healthcare, Research, Infection Prevention & Control, Non-Profit Management, Therapeutic Recreation, Indigenous / Métis / Aboriginal / First Nations domains, Developmental disability, Mental health, Dual Diagnosis & Public health sectors, Arvind is very eager and humbled to join CNIB Deafblind Community Services where he can serve the community back with his diverse academic and professional experiences. Being worked in front-line healthcare, personally empathize with the situations and challenges in day-to-day work. Arvind's personal values holistically harmonize with DBCS’s Mission, Vision and Values. 

Charlie Thompson

Headshot of Charlie

Born in Picton, Charlie grew up and went to school in London. He attended the University of Western Ontario and graduated with a Bachelor of Arts. Then, he went to the University of Windsor where he graduated with a Bachelor of Commerce (Honours).

He commenced his professional career with a firm of Chartered Accountants in Toronto where he started as a student in accounts and achieved partnership status. He left the firm in 1986 to move to Campellford to provide his family, including his three-year-old daughter, with  a more relaxed lifestyle. He joined a regional firm of Chartered Accountants in Campbellford in 1987.  He was a partner in the firm from 1988 to 2016 when he started the process of retiring from public practice.

He has been involved with various not-for profit groups, both on a professional and personal basis, over the years. While his volunteer involvement has not included CNIB, he was looking for a way to use his professional skills to give back to the community. His neighbour in Fonthill, Bruce O’Neil, had described his participation with CNIB, and his enthusiasm and his description of the growth process of the new sector suggested to Charlie that this might be an area that his skills might be of benefit to the organization.

Denise Beaumont

Headshot of Denise

Denise has worked more than 20 years in the not-for-profit, health and education sectors. Her passion has been in working with marginalized populations, specifically in the areas of community development, homelessness and harm reduction. She is a past staff member of CNIB and thrilled to have the opportunity to continue supporting CNIB Deafblind Community Services as a member of the Board of Directors. Currently, Denise works for the Ontario Harm Reduction Distribution Program, within the Kingston Community Health Centres.

She has served as Camp Director and currently Governance Committee member for Camp Wendake, a camp for individuals living with HIV.  Denise is also a licensed wedding officiant performing ceremonies for very happy people.

Katherine Hesson-Bolton

Headshot of Katherine

Katherine Hesson-Bolton, Manager, Talent Partnerships and Employer Relations was the inaugural Diversity Employment Coordinator providing foundational consultative support toward the creation of McMaster University’s, Career Access Professional Services (CAPS) supporting equity-deserving students and alumni and those with barriers to employment.

Working alongside faculties, campus, community, and employer partners, the CAPS team assists students, alumni, and employers in guiding their diversity, equity, and accessibility recruitment outreach and related workplace accommodation, inclusion, and funding conversations.  Formally trained as an ASL Interpreter working at the Canadian Hearing Society Ottawa, Katherine volunteered in Deafblind Services. She later joined the DBS team as a Case Manager working both in Ottawa and Toronto. Additional roles included Manager, Lake Joseph Camp and District Manager, Halton/Peel Region.

Her experiences span 25+ years working in the educational and not-for-profit sectors within front-line and management roles, and having served on accessibility, employment, mental health, community, and educational committees.

Kelly Kimens

Headshot of Kelly

Kelly Kimens joined the advisory Board as the vice chair in 2016. Kelly is a previous graduate of the intervenor program at George Brown College and worked at CNIB in a number of roles including intervenor, case manager, coordinator of client services, human resource manager and the national director, human resources between 1996-2006.

Kelly has also served for two terms on the board for DeafBlind Ontario Services. Kelly spent a number of years working in the hospital sector. Since 2013, she has been working for Public Health Ontario as the Executive Director, Human Resources. Kelly holds her Certified Human Resource Leader (CHRL) designation and her Certificate in Executive Coaching (CEC).

Maryann Everett

Headshot of Maryann

Maryann is now retired, and actively involved in governance, advocacy, fundraising and program implementation with several Not-for-Profit organizations including BGCBigs, Youth Empowerment and Support Services (YESS), Volunteer Alberta, the Alberta University Hospital Foundation, and Deafblind Community Services.  Prior to that, Maryann Everett was Assistant Deputy Minister of Workforce Strategies, responsible for leading the work of a large division developing policy and delivering programs focused on  growing a skilled workforce for the jobs of today as well as tomorrow.  In addition to ensuring employers have the tools they need to find the employees they require, she also worked with other ministries, the federal government and external Canadian and international partners to support the needs of newcomers, workers, employers and Albertans. Maryann graduated from Dalhousie University with a Masters in Business Administration. 

She completed a B.A. Honours in French from Carleton University; and a post graduate degree in International Development and Cooperation from the University of Ottawa.  She is in good standing as a Certified Management Consultant (CMC) and a graduate of the Institute of Corporate Directors (ICD.D). Maryann started her career in international development and then joined the Government of Canada delivering programs and services for both Foreign Affairs and International Trade and Industry Canada.  She began working with the Alberta Government on Investment attraction from Europe and Asia; labour attraction, economic strategy, and Expo 2000 in Germany.  In 2007, Maryann became Assistant Deputy Minister overseeing a range of assignments from immigration policy and programs, labour market information and intelligence, justice services and workforce policy, strategy and programs.  In 2013, she established the new Jobs, Skills, Training and Labour (JSTL) Ministry, which was renamed Labour in February 2016. Maryann is married with two sons and lives in Edmonton, Alberta.

Nora Constas

Headshot of Nora

Nora is an accomplished executive with a background in healthcare in both non-profit and for-profit settings. She is currently the President & CEO at Boost Child & Youth Advocacy Centre (CYAC), a position she has held for the last two years.

Prior to her work with Boost, Nora was the Executive Director at Markham Family Health Team overseeing a team of 21 physicians and 70 allied healthcare professionals across three sites. Nora worked as a nurse practitioner, care-coordinator and program administrator at the Hospital for Sick Children. With firsthand experience working in the emergency department, she brings extensive knowledge of children with complex needs from an acute care, ambulatory, and community context. Subsequently Nora joined Marsh Canada Ltd. as a Senior Vice President and National Practice Leader in Clinical Risk Management and Consulting.

In addition, Nora serves on the Board of Directors of Georgina Nurse Practitioner Led Clinic as well as CNIB Deaf Blind Community Services , which provides support and clinical programs optimizing quality of life for so many Canadians. Nora holds a Master of Nursing/Advanced Practice Nursing and an Executive Master of Business Administration.

Ronald J. Kruzeniski, K.C.

Headshot of Ron

Ron obtained a Bachelor of Administration and a Law degree from the University of Saskatchewan. He was called to the Saskatchewan Bar in 1973. Ron was appointed Queen’s Counsel in 1984.

He was in private practice in Regina for 16 years, during which time he was Chief Commissioner of the Human Rights Commission. He has also practiced law in the Ministry of Justice and in 1995 was appointed the Public Guardian and Trustee. In 2014, Ron was appointed the Information and Privacy Commissioner for the Province of Saskatchewan.

Ron has been involved in various senior volunteer roles over the years including the Alzheimer Society of Saskatchewan, the Canadian Bar Association National Elder Law Section, the Public Legal Education Association of Saskatchewan, the Saskatchewan Legal Aid Commission, the Law Society of Saskatchewan, the Regina Catholic School Board, the Campion College Board of Regents, the Regina Public Library Board and the Saskatchewan School Boards Association and the Canadian Institute for the Blind.

Ron is a recipient of the Saskatchewan Volunteer Medal, the Canadian Bar Association Community Service Award, and the recipient of the Saskatchewan Centennial Medal.