2016 / 2017 Board of Directors

Lisa Ellacott

Lisa Ellacott


Lisa has worked as a Front-line Worker, Supervisor, and a Director of Services for agencies that provide supports and services to people with developmental disabilities for over 20 years. She is presently continuing her education at Lakehead University and will achieve her HBSW and then carry on with her Masters in Social Work. She is presently working as a Family Resource Facilitator for Wesway and volunteers in many different capacities within the community.

Her interest in volunteering with the CLTB Board is to give back and educate the community at large about people with disabilities. She feels it is important to demonstrate that everyone has something to contribute to the overall general well-being of the community in which we live.

Donna Lagergren

Donna Lagergren

1st Vice President

Donna has been a Registered Practical Nurse (RPN) for over 26 years and was employed at St. Elizabeth’s Home Health Care. She provides care and health care teaching to individuals and families within the community. In 2007 she received her BA in psychology with a minor in Women’s Studies from Lakehead University. She will be entering her 4th year of the Bachelor of Science of Nursing (BSCN) program.

Donna is currently an active Board member at the Thunder Bay Counseling Centre and the Catholic Family Development Centre. She previously served on the CLTB Board (2007-2011), and hopes to build on her past experience and bring new ideas to the Board. It is her belief that every individual with special needs is unique and should be heard with a strong voice. She is an advocator for the individuals and their families within the community and believes that by educating and providing supportive programs, it encourages individuals with a disability to maintain a stronger role in today’s society.

Dan Munshaw

Dan Munshaw

Past President

Dan is a business leader specializing in supply chain management with over 30 years of public and private sector experience. He is a lifelong volunteer with diverse experience ranging from Boy Scouts to Board Chair of his provincial professional association. Most recent volunteer activities include the Thunder Bay Special Olympics, Thunder Bay International Baseball Associations’ World Junior Tournament and Habitat for Humanity. Dan has been a leader in fostering collaboration between Monty Parks and the City of Thunder Bay. His interest in CLTB is driven from both a personal and professional commitment. Based on his past Board and volunteer experience, knowledge of government processes and commitment to advance and enhance environmental and social commitment, he brings strength to the CLTB Board.

Ken Merkley

Ken Merkley

2nd Vice President, Director

Ken Merkley is the Buyer for Tbaytel and has nearly 10 years experience in the supply chain management profession. He is a member of the Supply Chain Management Association of Ontario and holds the Supply Chain Management Professional (SCMP) designation.

Ken has lived in Thunder Bay the majority of his life, and is an active member of the music and arts community. He is looking forward to bringing his knowledge, compassion, and commitment to the Board of Directors for Community Living Thunder Bay.

Lisa Foster


Patrizia Charrette

Executive Assistant

Wendy Brescia


Wendy Brescia was born, raised and educated in Thunder Bay, Ontario.   She is happily married to husband Joe, and has two wonderful children Nicholas and Katherine.  Katherine is currently attending the Community Living Thunder Bay Griffis Centre.

Wendy attended Hillcrest High School and Lakehead University, graduating from the Honours Bachelor of Commerce program in 1999, majoring in Accounting.  From there, her she continued to pursue her Certified Management Accountants designation in Toronto, Ontario.  Recently, Wendy returned to University completing her Master of Science in Management Degree in 2011 at Lakehead University.

While completing her accounting degree at Lakehead, Wendy commenced employment with the Tom Jones Corporation and has continued to advance in her role there since 1997.  She is presently the Controller of the Tom Jones Group of Companies, working in management, where she is involved in continuous system improvements, audit, finance, accounting, human resources and technology.

Wendy enjoys volunteering in the community and has taken leadership roles in many fundraising and board activities for a variety of local charities and interest groups.  Wendy looks forward to new learning opportunities and is excited to apply her knowledge of business management, systems, accounting and finance to this new role.

Vanessa DeGiacomo-Zwaresh


Vanessa has been the Energy Analyst for the City of Thunder Bay for the past eight years. She completed her Bachelor of Science and Bachelor of Education at Lakehead University as well as a Diploma in Environmental Engineering Technology from Confederation College.  She also achieved her designation as a Certified Energy Manager.  She has numerous years of experience in the education sector specializing in the environmental field. She has held previous leadership positions as a Board Member with the Association of Municipal Recycling Coordinators, as Co-Chair of the United Way Dinner for the City of Thunder Bay and as Vice Chair – Community Relations for Lakehead University’s 40th Anniversary Committee.  She is a lifelong resident of Thunder Bay and is looking forward to bringing her professionalism, experience, passion, dedication and knowledge to the Board of Director for Community Living Thunder Bay.

Earl McIvor


Earl McIvor works and lives in Thunder Bay. He has spent his entire life living in Northwestern Ontario working in a variety of industries. He has diverse experience in education, forestry, telecommunications and health care. He has held the designation of Certified Human Resource Professional (CHRP) and holds a Chartered Professional Accountant (CPA) designation.

Earl is active with a variety of community organizations including Community Living Thunder Bay, Lakehead Japanese Cultural Association, CPA Ontario – Lakehead District and the Lakehead Canoe Club. He spends a lot of his leisure time bicycling, hiking, snow shoeing and cross country skiing when the weather permits.

Earl has and continues to raise two wonderful boys. One of his sons is diagnosed with Pervasive Development Disorder, Not otherwise Specified (PDD-NOS) which is on the Autism Spectrum.

Earl considers himself blessed and looks to give back to society in whatever way he can. He gives of his time, energy and experience to help to contribute to society as a whole; improving it for others however he can. He has seen the struggles with the education system and getting through the activities of daily living. His greatest wish is to see both his sons live a productive life; contributing and participating as fully as possible in society, without unnecessary barriers or restrictions.

Robert Rickards


I have worked in various fields including:

  • As a telecommunications technician with Confederation College with over 18 years’ experience in the digital and IP based telecommunications and data network systems
  • As a supervisor with Bombardier managing a team to deliver a product on time and within budget
  • As a Nursing Orderly at Westmount, Hogarth and McKellar hospitals assisting clients with their physical, emotional and ADL (Activities of Daily Living) needs.

I was born in Fort William and have lived the majority of my life in the city.  I have been active in the city as a volunteer and/or director with the following organizations:

  • Big Brother Big Sister – volunteer – board member – president
  • Salvation Army – volunteer (soup van and kettle campaign)
  • Community Living Thunder Bay – director – volunteer

I look forward to bringing my skills and dedication to the Board of Directors for Community Living Thunder Bay.

Leah Bellin

Self Advocate Advisor

Jeany Pak

Self Advocate Advisor