The skill set of our Board includes expertise from the financial, academic, health, education and health sectors. This combined expertise gives the Farm the oversight needed to build long-term sustainability and ensure program efficacy.
PEng, MBA, CPA, CMA
Wes Gill joined the Board in September 2017 after a career as an Executive/Partner in a global Management Consulting firm and top-tier global Canadian Bank.
Following his graduation from the University of Guelph and York University’s Schulich School of Business, Wes continued his studies at the Stern School of Business at New York University and the graduate School of Business at Stanford University.
As a Professional Engineer and Certified Professional Accountant, Wes specialized in corporate governance and oversight, financial services risk management, data analytics and technology, operations and project management and regulatory relations.
Wes brings extensive experience in the not-for-profit sector, having held numerous Board, Executive and volunteer positions with various national, provincial and local organizations over the years.
Elaine Baxter-Trahair joined the Regional Municipality of Durham as Chief Administrative Officer (CAO) on December 1, 2018.
Elaine brings over 25 years of municipal and public sector experience to the Region of Durham. Most recently as General Manager-Toronto Children's Services and Interim Deputy City Manager, Elaine's experience is complemented by a Bachelor of Education and a Master of Business Administration. Her extensive experience and reputation with provincial and municipal governments will benefit the Region of Durham moving forward.
Reporting to the Regional Chair and Durham Regional Council, the CAO provides leadership to approximately 5,000 employees who develop and implement goals, objectives, policies and priorities.
Dr. Joe Stokes
Dr. Joe Stokes is the University Registrar at Ontario Tech University. Joe’s portfolio includes the leadership of enrollment management, including admissions, recruitment, financial aid, records, client services, and university-wide student communication. Joe is the past Chair of the Ontario Universities’ Council on Admission, and is the Past President of the Ontario University Registrars’ Association, where he has led work across the post-secondary sector on retention and student success.
Joe holds a doctoral degree in education from Western University, and has been a member of the WindReach Farm board since the summer of 2017. Dr. Stokes is currently working on connecting the Farm to the broader educational community and optimizing programmatic learning outcomes and curriculum for our programs.
Dr. Wendy Barber
Dr. Wendy Barber is an Associate Professor in the Faculty of Education at Ontario Tech University. She holds a PhD in Curriculum Teaching and Learning, with a Specialist in Teacher Development from OISE-University of Toronto. She spent her early career teaching and coaching physical education, and serving as Vice-Principal and Principal in elementary and secondary schools. Wendy is an advocate for inclusive physical education and sport, and has published widely through her research in this area. She developed an ongoing partnership between Ontario Tech and the Abilities Centre to increase awareness of accessibility and inclusion for pre-service teachers.
She is passionate about physical education, sport, and the role they play in improving health and well-being for individuals and communities. Wendy represented Canada for five years as a member of the Canadian National Synchronized Swimming team, which was ranked first internationally for all five years. She has four small dogs, Max, Joey, Georgia, and Gracie, who keep her grounded, healthy, and active. She is a committed volunteer, working in the stables and the Beyond the Farm Gate program, seeing firsthand how animals have the power to heal and connect people in meaningful ways.
Kevin graduated from Queen’s University in 2008 with a Bachelor of Commerce and achieved his Chartered Accountant designation in 2012.
Kevin worked at Ritchie Shortt & Tully LLP Chartered Professional Accountants in Whitby for 6 years before becoming a partner at this firm in 2019. Prior to this he gained tax and assurance experience working at international accounting firms in Toronto. Kevin has also completed the CICA In-Depth Tax Course.
Kevin served two terms as the treasurer and board member of the Whitby Chamber of Commerce.
Kevin is currently a board member and co-chair of the finance committee for P.R.Y.D.E. Learning Centres – a not-for-profit group of daycare centres in the Region of Durham.
He grew up in Courtice and now lives in Whitby with his wife, two daughters and son.
Nawal Chishty is a Nuclear Engineer with more than a decade of experience in risk management, project management and strategic planning. She has held technical positions in reactor safety, performance engineering and engineering strategy. She is a Senior Advisor in Regulatory Affairs and Stakeholder Relations at Ontario Power Generation and is the Management System expert responsible for advising the organization on the practices for establishing and monitoring an effective Nuclear Management System. She is involved with the Canadian Standards Association and is a member of the Advisory Board to the Faculty of Energy Systems and Nuclear Sciences at Ontario Tech University. She is a proud member of Women in Nuclear and passionate about encouraging girls and women to pursue careers in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM).
Dr. Theresa Miedema is an Associate Teaching Professor and a member of the Dean’s Leadership Team in the Faculty of Business and I.T. at Ontario Tech University, where she teaches business law and business ethics. She is also a member of the University’s Policy Advisory Committee and the Provost’s Indigenous Reconciliation Taskforce. Prior to joining Ontario Tech, she taught in the Ethics, Society, and Law program at Trinity College and in the Law and Business program at Ted Rogers School of Management.
She holds a doctoral (S.J.D.) degree in law from the University of Toronto. Her graduate research focused on law and international development. She obtained her LLB from the University of Toronto and was called to the bar in 2001. She practiced at a major Canadian law firm and later as a sole practitioner and international consultant.
She was born on a farm and remains an animal lover and a supporter of local agriculture. She believes in the power of sport to bring communities together and in the importance of physical activity in maintaining health and wellness.
WEcon, BEd, MRE
Jim Wilson is a Superintendent of Education with the Durham Catholic District School Board. He is Superintendent of Faith Formation, Parent and Community Engagement, Oshawa and Scugog Family of Schools, and Continuing Education.
Jim is the co-chair of the DCDSB Joint Health and Safety Committee and he is an External Governor Representative on the Durham College and Ontario Tech Board of Governors. He served on the Welcome Centre Governance Committee, actively supporting newcomer settlement in Durham Region. In addition, he was a board member of the Ontario Association of Adult and Continuing Education School Board Administrators.
Jim holds a Bachelor of Education from Brandon University and a Bachelor of Economics from Trent University. He has a Master's degree in Religious Education from the University of Ottawa. He also received a diploma in Human Resources from Durham College.
He is an active member of St. Therese Catholic Church in Courtice where he supports the music ministry and outreach initiatives. He also enjoys spending time with family and friends at the cottage.
BA (HONS), MA, PGDIP
Nancy Jack is a founder and the CEO of Nantucket Spider, LLC. Founded in 2013, Nantucket Spider is now the fastest growing brand in the natural insect repellent sector in the USA.
She previously worked as an environmental lawyer for the Ontario Attorney General and Ministry of Environment and Energy, and spent a short time in private practice. She is a graduate of Western University with a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology. Nancy also holds an LLB/JD from the University of Toronto
She is the mother of a 20-year-old son with intellectual disabilities, who currently participates in the CPP and Therapeutic Riding programs at WindReach Farm.
She is active in various local initiatives for students with disabilities and is currently involved in setting up a parents’ and caregivers’ network for the Fleming College Community Integration program in Peterborough Ontario.
Pamela Rice is the Communications Manager at the Barbra Schlifer Commemorative Clinic. She leads strategic-level communications and is responsible for communications, branding, and supporting the organization's fundraising and advocacy efforts. Her work with the media allows her to position the Clinic's balanced views on gender-based violence and social justice.
While at the CAMH Foundation, she was responsible for communications, branding and supporting the organization’s fundraising goals through media relations, print, digital and social media marketing.
During her tenure at Right to Play International, she collaborated with an international team to share stories of the importance of play to empower refugee children to overcome the impact of war, poverty and disease.
She is currently working toward her Master of Public Relations. She holds a Master of Communication and Culture from York University, a Corporate Communications Diploma from Seneca College, and a Bachelor of Arts in International Development from Dalhousie University.