Speaker’s Series Bios, Winter 2017-2018

Information about the speakers and their topics for our upcoming Speaker’s Series happening this winter.

The schedule is on our events page: giftof-art.com/events/

Index: (click on their name to jump to them)
Joseph Koo
Darlene Brown
Sarah McConnell
Cindy Bennett
Jeannette Vandervooren
Angie Darlison
Lynne Lyon
Marilyn Glassford
Richard Thake
Susan Edwards
Sergeant Sheri Tate
Sheila Burns
Dr. Mathew Stephenson
Myno Van Dyke
Patricia Lowe


Joseph Koo

Pharmacist, Shopper’s Drug Mart: Joseph Koo
“Did you know that the Canadian Diabetes Association estimated that 9.3% of all Canadians are affected by diabetes in 2015 alone? Whether you are currently living with diabetes, or are trying to avoid the condition altogether, I want you to know that taking medication is not the only answer. This short presentation will cover some of the drug- and non-drug options in controlling your blood sugar. Hope to see you there.” – Joseph, Pharmacist owner

★ A recording of this talk from November 8th to listen to, and to download can be found at agiftof-art.com/speakers-series-recordings/


Darlene Brown

Big Brothers Big Sisters of Clarington: Darlene Brown
As Canada’s leading child and youth mentoring charity, Big Brothers Big Sisters facilitates life-changing relationships that inspire and empower children and youth to reach their potential, both as individuals and citizens.

Big Brothers Big Sisters of Clarington was founded by Lionel Parker and Jack Munday in 1977 and has been creating friendships ever since.

From its incorporation in Newcastle in 1977, Big Brothers Big Sisters of Clarington has endeavoured to offer parent-absent boys and girls with quality friendships through its screening of volunteers and attention to matches.

Originally, we were named Big Brothers of Newcastle, but we changed our name in 1991 to Big Brothers of Clarington to reflect the municipality name change. We started matching our Big Brothers with Little Brothers, and have since grown to include a number of different mentoring programs including our Jack Munday In-School Mentoring program and a Big Bunch group mentoring program.

We became Big Brothers and Sisters of Clarington in August 2000 to reflect the growing needs of young girls in our community. The agency continues to expand and develop its programs to serve the ever growing and changing communities in need of our services.

We are a non-profit charitable organization with a volunteer Board of Directors, who promote and establish the policies of service. The Executive Director is a full time staff person who is responsible to the Board for the effective direction, management and administration of all activities. Our staff members are responsible for serving Bigs, Littles, and parents including all interviews, screening, matching, and monitoring each child and volunteer involved in our agency.

★ A recording of this talk from November 15th to listen to, and to download can be found at agiftof-art.com/speakers-series-recordings/

Sarah McConnell

Clarington Public Library: Sarah McConnell
Digital Services and You

“Join the Clarington Public Library as we explore the wide range of digital services available to you at the click of a button! The Library will walk attendees through a brief introduction to borrowing eBooks, eAudiobooks, and eMagazines. Discover all the wonderful online resources the Library makes available through our website and through our app. Bring your library card and a smartphone/tablet and leave with a digital library at your fingertips!”

★ A recording of this talk from November 22nd to listen to, and to download can be found at agiftof-art.com/speakers-series-recordings/

Cindy Bennett

Humane Society of Durham Region: Cindy Bennett
I am on the volunteer board of directors, but more importantly to me, I have been a volunteer for 15 years. I help with fundraising, Humane Education, dog-walking, and I have fostered over 150 animals. Three years ago I adopted a tiny 13 year old rescue poodle and he comes with me to most of my public talks as an HSDR ambassador!
I usually talk about who we are, how we differ from Animal Services, our challenges, and what we do for the community. The paragraph below is taken from our website.

HSDR is made up of a Volunteer Board of Directors, staff members and volunteers. We are a community resource, dedicated to protecting and providing temporary shelter and comfort to all companion animals in need, while promoting adoptions and re-homing for unwanted, abused, neglected and abandoned pets. HSDR promotes humane treatment of all living things and works with the OSPCA who respond to and investigate all complaints of cruelty and neglect. HSDR serves all of Durham Region and is a non-profit organization and no-kill shelter and does not receive government funding. We rely solely on the contributions of our donors and supporters in order to provide care and a home for the animals, and our mission is to provide care until a new home is found, regardless of the time it takes. We also educate and inspire responsible pet/family relationships.

★ A partial recording of this talk from November 29th to listen to, and to download can be found at agiftof-art.com/speakers-series-recordings/


Michelle and Alex

Michelle and Alex from the Clarington Recreation Department.

★ A recording of this talk from December 6th to listen to, and to download can be found at agiftof-art.com/speakers-series-recordings/


Jeannette Vandervooren

Jeannette Vandervooren: Musician, Performer
I will be playing a variety of well known tunes that everybody knows and love, with a hint of country.
I have been entertaining on my own for the last 10 years at all kinds of different functions.
Luncheons for community care, parties, birthdays, and Christmas, dances, and retirement homes entertainment. Wherever they need music, I’m there.
I play the guitar, sax, banjo, harmonica, as well as sing, and tell jokes if needed.
I’m a one woman band, and have been asked back over and over again.
Don’t let my size fool you.
– Jeannette Vandervooren

★ There will not be an audio recording from this talk.


Angie Darlison

About The Bowmanville Older Adult Association
The Bowmanville Older Adult Association, formerly known as the the Clarington Older Adult Centre Board. The Bowmanville Older Adult Association is a new, federally incorporated non-profit organization that offers social, active and educational programs to older adults in Clarington.

Mission Statement
To promote the health and happiness of older adults by providing opportunities to enhance their quality of life.

Values and Beliefs
Accessible – to create an organization that is inclusive and affordable; we will identify and address potential barriers, and create opportunities for members, potential members, and guests.
Caring – to be known as a friendly and welcoming organization where members, guests and visitors can feel safe, respected and welcome.
Community Focused – to be part of and contribute to the broader community; we aspire to be a cooperative, collaborative and respectful partner.
Fiscally Responsible – to efficiently operate and achieve our goals in a manner that is both financially prudent and accountable to our members and partners.
Member Focused – to ensure that the needs of our members are reflected in what we do today and in our future priorities.
Quality Programs – to be known for excellent programs that meet the diverse needs of our members; our programs will promote social, educational and physical well-being

★ There is no audio recording from this talk.


Lynne Lyon

Lynne Lyon is a Professor at Durham College.

You can check out her Linked In profile here: ca.linkedin.com/in/lynne-lyon-80804641

★ A recording of this talk from January 24th to listen to, and to download can be found at agiftof-art.com/speakers-series-recordings/


Marilyn Glassford

Marilyn brings a wealth of hands on experience to the tour division of Lakeshore Tours & Travel in Bowmanville. After graduating at the top of her class from Travel & Tourism at the Toronto School of Business, Marilyn has worked in many facets of the motorcoach tour business including tour directing, tour planning and charter sales. Marilyn is a well travelled individual who has travelled throughout all of Canada, most of the U.S., Mexico, Ireland, Scotland, England and Wales. She loves adventure travel having conducted a Polar Bear Tour to Churchill, Manitoba and in 2018 she will be escorting groups to South Africa!


Richard Thake

Richard Thake is the author of the Sir Seth Thistlethwaite books.

Richard has been writing all his life, beginning his career at Maclean-Hunter Publishing Company Limited in 1958. His most recent work is the highly imaginative “Sir Seth Thistlethwaite” series for young readers (age 7 – 12). Books 1,2 and 3 are currently available. Richard is currently working on a
manuscript for adults.


Susan Edwards

Susan Edwards, Area Coordinator – Corporate Accounts
Durham Region Heart and Stroke Foundation
105 Consumers Dr. Unit 2, Whitby, ON L1N 1C4
Tel: 905-666-3777 Ext.3461 | Fax: 905-666-9956

Life. We don’t want you to miss it.TM
That’s why we lead the fight against heart disease and stroke. Our new logo is the face of our deeper transformation and bolder resolve to push even harder, lead greater change and save more lives.

See it at heartandstroke.ca


Sergeant Sheri Tate

University of Waterloo graduated in 1995 BA Arts , Honors Sociology
Durham Regional Police Officer 1999
Sexual assault first responder officer in 2000
Breath Technician in 2002
RIDE over the Christmas season in 2001 and 2002
Coach Officer in 2004
2005 Honored for exemplary commitment to helping the public at Deer Creek
Promoted to Detective Constable 2005 working in general assignment Criminal Investigations Bureau in 17 Division Community Policing office: handled investigations including serious Assaults, Sexual assaults, frauds, mischiefs, dangerous driving, break and enters and street level robberies
Team member for homicide investigations

Promoted to Sergeant in 2008, sworn in 2009
Front line Sergeant (C platoon in Oshawa)
2010 Detective Criminal Investigations Bureau where the majority of my work involved frauds, scams, thefts and power of attorney investigations
2015 Sergeant and Senior Support Coordinator for Durham Regional Police Service

I will give information about the top 4 scams and I provide information on the following:
1) how to protect your identity;
2) where to get assistance if you have been a victim of a scam;
3) red flags or indicators of a scam to help you identify new ones;
4) importance of yearly self-credit checks;
5) Door to door sales and Renovation scams
6) Investment pyramid schemes
7) Distraction thefts, pick pocketing scams and safe shopping.


Sheila Burns

We are dedicated to the care and rehabilation of abused, neglected and unwanted donkeys, mules and hinnies. If we cannot fix it the donkey is humanly sent on his way. Case in point yesterday we said goodbye to Shima a miniature horse found in a petting zoo. Obviously ridden for years. We had her for 6 years but the damage had been done. Her knees became so arthritic she could hardly walk. Although we did everything we could for her she was walking bone on bone. No one suffers here no matter how cute and cuddley.
Please come for a visit we are open Thurs and Sun from 1-4.


Dr. Mathew Stephenson

Dr. Stephenson’s family has been in Clarington for several generations. He was raised outside of Newcastle and then moved to a beef farm in Kirby, for his teen years. This was where he developed an interest in animal care, and decided at a young age to become a veterinarian.

He attended Guelph University in a science program, and transferred to the Ontario Veterinary College to obtain a degree in Veterinary medicine. He graduated in 2000, and joined a mixed practice in Newcastle for 2 years. He left to work as locum for 1 year, and then started the Orono Veterinary Hospital with one partner. The Orono Veterinary Hospital is a small animal practice.

He married a Hampton girl, Brenda, and they have 2 young children. Campbell, a daughter and Nolan, a son. They currently have Molly and Maggie, 10 and 6 year old yellow labs. He has had several breeds of dogs over the years, a few cats, and a few birds, including cockatiels and an African Grey.


Myno Van Dyke

Myno was born in the Netherlands and immigrated to Canada with his parents and sister in 1951.

Myno grew up in the Brooklin, Ontario area and moved to Bowmanville when he married Judy in 1972. In 1977 they moved to the 3rd Concession just north of Newcastle and in 2003 to Graham Court in Newcastle Village. They have 3 children, two living in Vancouver and one in Toronto and 4 grandchildren.

Myno started his working career as a repairman with Bell Canada in 1965 and in 1973 changed careers and was hired as a Constable with the Bowmanville Police Department. Bowmanville became part of Durham Regional Police in 1974 and Myno worked in the Bowmanville station until 1980 when he was transferred to the Criminal Investigation Branch in Oshawa. He worked as a Detective for 15 years and retired as an Instructor at the Police Learning Centre at Durham College with the rank of Sgt.

Myno is a Past President and presently Secretary of the Newcastle Village & District Historical Society. He is Chair of the Newcastle Community Improvement Plan Committee and Co-ordinates the East Clarington Men’s Breakfast. He is a 35 year member of the Studebaker Driver’s Club, Historian for the Bowmanvile Men’s Canadian Club and is active in Newcastle United Church. Myno enjoys working on old cars, writing stories and songs.


Patricia Lowe

Central Lake Ontario Conservation is one of 36 Conservation Authorities in Ontario. Our job is to work with others toward healthy watersheds enduring positive sustainable improvements for our communities. The CLOCA watershed is 627 square kilometres and we own and manage a large area of public lands. These lands protect significant and sensitive features, but they also offer a public enjoyment component for passive recreation activities. We know that many a painting or inspiration for a photograph comes from one of our 8 conservation areas. This talk will highlight some of the natural heritage resources in those areas with a selection of photos from the 4 seasons and inspire you as artists to continue painting the natural landscapes we have secured for your benefit.

Patricia Lowe is responsible for Community Engagement on behalf of a team of 40 staff that work in planning, education, engineering, natural heritage, communication, administration and operation departments that make up our organization.