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2021-2022 Board Members

Country Roads Community Health Centre

Meet Our Board of Directors

Peter Hannah – Chair

Lives in Portland
Peter was raised in Ottawa and attended the University of Waterloo. He has a Bachelor of Environmental Studies (BES), Urban and Regional Planning working extensively in both public and private sectors.

Peter’s  land use planning responsibilities involved primarily municipal clients throughout eastern Ontario, including here in north Leeds.  As the Assistant Chief Planner, he had supervisory responsibilities and was a member of the firm’s Board of Directors.

Peter has been volunteering with the Rideau Waterway Land Trust for nearly 20 years, served on the Board of Directors and was President for eight years.   He has a fully developed understanding of governance.

Peter has  a particular interest in environmental issues and hopes that this can be of use to CRCHC as it deals with health issues in our community. Ground and surface water quality is a high profile issue and an example of where health and environment are closely related.

Gary Dickson – Vice Chair

Vice Chair
Lives in Lombardy
When I retired in 2014, my wife and I moved to our cottage on Big Rideau Lake and made it our year-round home. I now try to master the bagpipes and to break 100 on the golf course. I have had at least 4 different careers since University.  (1) Lawyer in Calgary (23 years), (2) Member of the Legislative Assembly for a downtown Calgary constituency (9 years).  I was directly involved in the development and implementation of that province’s access and privacy laws. (3) practiced access and privacy law in Calgary and was a consultant to the federal Minister of Health on health privacy (2 years).  (4) Saskatchewan’s first full-time Information and Privacy Commissioner (10 years).  

Since moving to eastern Ontario, I served as the Commissioner-in-Residence at the federal Information Commissioner’s office (2014) and now spend my time as a grandpa and do some privacy/access consulting work across Canada.

Cathy Penny – Treasurer

Lives in Chaffeys Locks
Cathy Penny Cathy recently retired to the area after a diverse 40 year career at the Bank of Montreal. Responsibilities ranged from front-line sales management, commercial lending, finance and program management. Through the many roles she has played in her career Cathy has gained extensive background in change management.

Cathy has her MBA from the Richard Ivey School of Business, University of Western Ontario and received her designation as a Certified General Accountant in 1987. In addition to her involvement in several committees Cathy has also served on an Independent School Board and with a local Heritage Society Board. Cathy is interested in contributing to the community and helping to ensure equitable access to all in need.

Mike Fay – Secretary

Lives in Westport
Originally from the Timmins/Kirkland Lake area of Northern Ontario, I have a degree in Urban and Regional planning from the University of Waterloo and a Masters from the University of Manitoba.

My wife Gail and I moved to Westport in 2006 after I retired from a long career with Parks Canada that started with a Park Planner position in Winnipeg followed by a number of Executive positions and ending with a 5 year stint as the Chief Administrative Officer of the Agency based in Ottawa.

Since retiring, I’ve taken up golf and curling, serve as Board member with Friends of Foley Mountain, on the Executive of our Road Committee, and volunteer with the Westport Outdoors Association raising walleye fry the fish hatchery.

Gail and I have two sons and two grandsons who enjoy visiting us at the lake. We also like to volunteer at local events and spend several months a year travelling. We’ve been clients of Country Roads for many years and are firm believers in the multidisciplinary, patient focused approach that serves the Rideau Lakes Community so well. I joined the Board of Directors in October 2017 and am very pleased to volunteer my services.

Crystal Cannon – Director at Large

Director at Large
Lives in Rideau Lakes
My husband and I moved to Portland in 2012 and I am a client of the centre.  I grew up here and return after many years in norther Ontario where I practiced Family Medicin and raised a family.  My father was a long time client of  Country Roads and over those years I was impressed and comforted by the excellent and compassionate care he received.  My own visits have confirmed this.

As a semi-retired family physician I believe I can bring my experience and  knowledge to the Board.  I have found working in a team based setting to be rewarding and a means of improving healthcare for communities. 

I am very aware of the complex issues that healthcare organizations face in providing excellent community care to clients.  I am especially excited about the recent expansion of our services and our approaches to improving access in rural areas.  The current mission, vision and values of CRCHC offer me guidance in my role as an effective and productive board member.

Maxine Weber – Director at Large

Director at Large
Lives in Chaffeys Locks
Maxine (Max) worked her entire career with Developmentally and Learning disabled children and adults.  Her last position was with Lanark Community Programs as Clinical Supervisor in the Autism Intervention program.  In this capacity she directed child curriculum, supervised a therapist team and provided consultation support and training to families, schools and daycares. 

Today, Max continues  to do a small amount of consultative work which includes membership at the Children’s Planning Table [EKIOC] of Leeds and Grenville and  Co-chair of Best Start L&G.  She co-chairs the Child and Family Centre working group and sit as part of the Special Needs Strategy workgroup.

Maxine’s interests are primarily  in the child and family experience especially for vulnerable people, with an interest in poverty reduction, food security, literacy, mental health and advocacy.  She is a creative and practical thinker as well as a troubleshooter.

Shane Renwick – Director at Large

Director at Large
Live in Elgin area
Shane has been living near Elgin since 2015 but with family in the area Rideau Lakes has been like home for the past 25 years. He is a veterinary epidemiologist with many years of experience in private practice, research, government and most recently with Canada’s national veterinary association.  Shane’s professional interests include animal welfare and One Health, that is the close relationship between human health, animal health and ecosystem health. Shane enjoys woodwork, paddling, and  spending  time with his family including his two Hungarian Vizslas. 


Claire Smith – Director at Large

Director at Large
Lives in Elgin
Claire Smith (née Gunnewiek) is a proud alumnus of South Crosby P.S., Sweets Corners E.S., Rideau District H.S., Université Stendhal, and Ryerson University, B.A..  She farms in the Bush near Elgin with husband Nigel and their 3 children, Allan Antonius, Nina Cephronia, and Vera Gladys; their terrifying and loyal guard dog Boris; and various cats, cows, chickens, and in-laws.  They own and operate Bushgarden Farm, a certified organic 6-generation dairy farm where they make the only raw cows’ milk cheese in Ontario. 

She is passionate about local food and keeping the community healthy and growing in our beautiful rural environment, rich as it is with natural and built heritage. Claire spends  most of her time working in the house, on the farm, and representing the glorious South Crosby ward on Rideau Lakes Township council but in her spare time she enjoys visits to the library, gardening, hanging wallpaper, walking in the forest, knitting, and socializing with friends and family.

Sharon Symondson – Director at Large

Director at Large
Lives in Rideau Lakes
Sharon has family roots in the Rideau Lakes, Smiths Falls, and Lanark County area.  Now retired in the beautiful Rideau Lakes Township, Sharon has put to use her 20 years of experience in business and financial administration. 

Sharon has worked for and been involved with various not-for-profit businesses and community organizations over the years.  Mostly business oriented, the longest involvement was with the Community Futures program finally finishing her career as the Community Economic Development Officer with the Elgin Community Futures Organization in Elgin County.  

Currently a Board Member of the Rideau Lakes Economic Development Committee and a volunteer in other capacities including a curling club, Sharon is a strong believer that a vibrant community is a strong community and strong communities breed economic and community diversity and strength.

Sharon feels her previous work experience, familiarity of Country Roads Community Health Centre and volunteer career will be put to good use as a member of the Board of Directors.

Diana Kemp – Director at Large

Director at Large
Lives in Rideau Lakes
Diana began her career in a small Northern hospital in Saskatchewan after completing her Bachelor of Science in Nursing with distinction and a Master of Nursing in Leadership and Patient Safety from the University of Alberta.

Diana’s clinical and management experience provided her with an abundance of experience in various health care settings including acute care work in Pembroke and Winchester hospitals, community work with the Victorian Order of Nurses in Winchester, continuing care/long term care, and subacute care with the Capital Care group, and acute care and patient safety in two large teaching hospitals at the University of Alberta and the Royal Alexandra.

The unique needs of the marginalized – particularly the Indigenous and those with mental health issues helped to shape Diana’s experience as a Patient Care Manager of the Orthopaedic Surgical program in a large inner-city hospital. From there Diana transitioned into the role of Manager of Quality and Patient Safety and became the Privacy Officer for this large teaching hospital.

Currently, Diana teaches a Seniors Gentle Fit Program and at times a Falls Prevention Program. She is involved in the community through the seniors’ luncheons, church work, the Rideau Lakes Horticulture Society and is a member of both the Newboro and North Crosby Community Enhancement Committees.

Diana is passionate about the provision of safe client care and the quality of services that meet the needs of seniors.

Cheryl Russell-Julien – Director at Large

Director at Large
Lives in Portland
Cheryl is President of Hands on Practical Solutions and brings with her over 28 years of experience in post-secondary education. Cheryl has held senior positions as the Curriculum Manager and then as Director of Health Care for one of the largest Private Career Colleges in Canada. She played an active role in several successful healthcare, legal program accreditations and site visits across Canada. She actively participates as a curriculum reviewer with the Canadian Addiction Counsellors Certification Federation education review committee. Cheryl also serves as an external advisor to the Board of Directors of Career Colleges Ontario, is a Board Director for the Ontario Dental Assistants Association and The National Dental Assistants Examination Board.

Cheryl’s professional career has exposed her to various roles in leadership where she was able to streamline complex work processes, work collaboratively and eventually be selected as a Public Appointee Board Member to the Leeds Grenville and Lanark District Health Unit. As Chair of the Governance Committee for the Leeds Grenville and Lanark District Health Unit, Cheryl gained experience in generative board governance.

Cheryl now resides and continues her valuable work from Portland Ontario.

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