The staff at WindReach Farm are essential for delivering our accessible programs and services.
Ross earned a Bachelor’s degree in Kinesiology from McGill University and a Master’s in Human Kinetics from the University of Ottawa. He spent the first ten years of his career as a leader in the amateur sport sector, working at both the national and provincial levels, leading coach education and athlete development initiatives for athletes of all abilities. In February 2018, Ross htook his passion for leveling the playing field to WindReach Farm.
Ross has a passion for finding creative solutions to address the barriers that face those individuals living with disabilities and mental health issues and believes that now, more than ever, more attention needs to be focused on mental health at home; and in the workplace.
905.655.5827 ext. 228
Foundation Executive Director
Carol is excited to lead the Foundation Board to fulfilling its mission to raise funds and awareness for WindReach Farm. In her role, Carol has the pleasure of reaching out and connecting with potential donors and sponsors in the community who support the programs and services provided by WindReach Farm. She is passionate about the work done at WindReach Farm, and takes delight in sharing this with our donors and stakeholders in the community.
Carol is committed to working with the Foundation Board as they strive to meet the needs of WindReach Farm through fundraising and community presentations, as well as grant and proposal writing. In addition, she is excited to take the lead in planning the annual fundraising gala – A Night at WindReach Farm – which takes place every September. Carol is fortunate to work with a wonderful team of volunteers on this planning committee.
905.655.5827 ext. 231
Kelly Taylor, Volunteer and Operations Manager
Kelly started working at WindReach Farm in 2005 as the Volunteer and Programs Manager.
She has a Bachelor of Science Degree from the University of Toronto, and a Diploma in Recreation and Leisure from Humber College. Prior to coming to WindReach Farm, Kelly worked at Holland Bloorview for 10 years in Recreation, as well as Family and Community Relations.
Kelly loves working at WindReach Farm and meeting the visitors and participants in the many programs. The programs have grown over the years since Kelly started, and she is very excited that WindReach is able to serve so many amazing people. Working on a farm, getting the chance to enjoy the beautiful property, and see animals every day is a wonderful experience!
905.655.5827 ext. 225
Sara Cosway, Beyond the Farm Gate Program Coordinator
Sara Cosway started with WindReach Farm in April 2005, and has held a variety of positions at the Farm.
She loves working alongside an amazing team of staff, volunteers, and animal ambassadors. Her favourite farm animals are the chickens! But as much as she loves being in the coop with the flock, her greatest satisfaction comes from seeing the visitors and clients’ faces light up when they learn interesting facts, or remember experiences from their childhoods. She is always searching for innovative and fun ways to impact the lives of all the people she comes in contact with.
In her spare time, Sara likes to spend time with her family, spend time outside, go birdwatching, and walk her dogs and foster greyhounds!
905.655.5827 ext. 234
Marion Comper, Lead Horticultural Therapy Practitioner
Marion comes to WindReach Farm with over 30 years in the fields of landscape architecture, design, and horticulture. She is a graduate of York University in English Literature, and received a Bachelor of Landscape Architecture from the University of Toronto, practicing landscape and garden design in Toronto. Parallel interests in both horticulture and social services resulted in English as a Second Language and Horticultural Therapy certifications, as well as a Diploma in Social Service Work (pending 2022). Marion hopes to combine all aspects of her education and training into providing service for a wide range of participants in nature-based therapy programming at WindReach Farm.
In her spare time, Marion enjoys travelling to geographically interesting and remote locations, reading “anything science” or historical, knitting, yoga, shin-rin yoku and all things hygge.
Marion is a member of the Canadian Horticultural Therapy Association, TESL Ontario, Toronto Master Gardeners and Landscape Ontario.
905.655.5827 ext. 233
Tony Da Silva, Property Manager
Tony Da Silva started as a volunteer at WindReach Farm in September of 2013. Within a year, he joined our weekend staff, and for the past two years, Tony has been our Property Manager and one of our limited full-time staff.
Being Property Manager is a second career for Tony, and something he thoroughly enjoys, including all the challenges the job sometimes presents. He loves all the animals at the farm, but has a very soft spot for our horses and our young goat named Regina.
Tony looks forward to coming to work at WindReach every day, and hopes to become a therapeutic riding instructor in the near future.
905.655.5827 ext. 223
Jennifer Crothers, Learning-4-Life Coordinator
Jennifer became part of WindReach Farm more than a couple of decades ago. Even from WindReach’s earliest beginnings, she has experienced and passionately embraced the substantial growth of WindReach’s profound vision. While some of this growth is in the actual varied physical structures and facilities, the more important growth continues to occur within the diverse educational and other therapeutic programs that have become such a major part of how we serve the community.
Jennifer remains an integral part of the planning and implementation of many programs at the Farm. Her genuine passion for helping others is well known, and it is reflected in the work she does in the Learning-4-Life Program. She is an avid photographer, artist, and thoroughly enjoys exploring nature. After work, she treasures spending quality time with her family.
905.655.5827 ext. 236
Eleanor Meredith, Farmer and CPP Program Coordinator
Eleanor has been at WindReach Farm since 2011. She grew up in Brooklin, ON on a hobby farm and graduated from the Ontario Agricultural College, University of Guelph with a BSc in Agriculture (Animal Science). She has worked in agriculture for over 40 years, starting with the South Ontario 4-H Beef Club, and spent 10 years on a dairy farm.
Her work in Senior Care has helped her to assess the individual needs and abilities of participants, and offer them appropriate tasks and challenges to make their visits at WindReach successful. She helps to train participants, support staff, animal care volunteers, and students to safely care for the animals and instill in them an appreciation of nature, farming, and the therapeutic influence animals have on our lives.
Eleanor’s hobbies include Heavy Horse Team Driving, music, visiting local agricultural fairs, and spending time with her six beautiful children and their families.
905.655.5827 ext. 229
Andrew Vestby, Horticulture Technician
From 1994 – 1998, Andrew attended Exeter Secondary School. For many of his high school years, Andrew had a co-op placement at WindReach Farm. He really enjoyed this time, and had a wonderful first experience at WindReach.
After high school, Andrew worked at Ocala Winery in Port Perry as a fruit farmer for seven years before he came to WindReach to work at the Stables.
Andrew has been working at WindReach Farm as the Stable Property Manager for over a decade and has recently moved to the position of Horticulture Technican.
He loves horses and dogs. His other interests include gardening – specifically daylilies and orchids, and viticulture (the science, production and study of grapes for wine making). Andrew is also fluent in American Sign Language.
Sonya Yake, Office Manager
Sonya started working at WindReach Farm in 2018. Her primary role is to look after the accounting and bookkeeping for the farm. Sonya has a Bachelor of Arts degree in Sociology from Glendon College, which is the French speaking campus of York University. Sonya’s financial career spans over 20 years, and includes years of managing people and processes. Sonya is also trained in “Kaizen”, a Japanese methodology for improving processes. Having been born and raised on a farm, she greatly enjoys coming to the Farm each day and seeing the many wonderful participants and volunteers, who make every day so rewarding.
When not at work, Sonya enjoys engaging in house design projects, gardening, sewing, knitting, and crocheting. Sonya and her family are avid hockey and baseball fans, who enjoy watching and playing these sports, and of course taking in a Maple Leafs or Blue Jays game whenever possible!
905.655.5827 ext. 232
Brett Smith, Learning-4-Life Program Assistant
Prior to starting at WindReach in 2018, Brett completed the Police Foundations and Child Youth Care programs at Durham College, where he got to work with the community in different settings. However, his placement at WindReach Farm completely changed his vision of what he wanted to do moving forward. The Learning-4-Life program has provided him with a chance to utilize his artistic abilities and teamwork skills to enhance the participants’ experience on a daily basis.
Brett enjoys finding new and exciting ways to make the program accessible. His favourite activity is the monthly talent shows, where everyone gets the chance to showcase their creativity and talents in a fun, inclusive way. Brett’s favourite animals on the farm are the goats, who he loves to train to jump through hoops. When he isn’t at the farm, Brett can be found playing sports, spending time with his family, and completing house renovations.
905.655.5827 ext. 236
Colleen Arbuckle, Learning-4-Life Program Assistant
Colleen’s first experience at WindReach was as a support worker in the Community Participation Program in 2006. She later joined the team as a staff member in 2016. She has worked in the Developmental Services Field since 2004 and brings with her a passion for agriculture, lifelong learning, helping people, and a positive and encouraging attitude.
As part of the Learning-4-Life team, she enjoys coming up with activities that are both challenging and fun for the participants of the program, and she is constantly learning new things. She encourages everyone to participate in the activities regardless of their abilities and is always there to cheer them on!
In her spare time, she enjoys volunteering with the local agricultural societies, judging the Homecraft and Junior Fair divisions, and she attends many Fairs throughout Ontario. She can often be found at auctions, and with her family and friends in her spare time.
905.655.5827 ext. 236
Marie Akins, Therapeutic Riding Program Coordinator
Marie started at WindReach Farm in 2019, in a student placement position with Durham College's Animal Care Program. She eventually joined as weekend staff, and was later promoted to work full-time as the stables coordinator in 2020. Marie has worked with horses since 2014 at her own property, as well as a number of other stables.
Her greatest joy comes from watching the riders flourish. She always loves the acceptance she feels every day from co-workers, volunteers, instructors, and of course, the horses.
905.655.5827 ext. 221
Dave Larkin, Cleaner
Dave began working at WindReach Farm in 2019, as a second career. He works as a facility cleaner providing custodial services for the farm's different buildings.
Dave enjoys all the animals on the farm, and provides assistance where possible. He says the dedication of the people associated with the farm is amazing.
Sherry Dodson, Horticultural Therapy Practitioner
Sherry joined the WindReach team in 2017 when the farm launched the Harvest of Health horticultural therapy program. Sherry is passionate in her belief about the interaction between people, plants and gardens to improve physical and emotional health. She has been an active member of the Durham Master Gardeners since 2011, has received The Horticulturalist Certificate from the University of Guelph, has a Certificate in Horticultural Therapy from The Toronto Botanical Gardens, and is a member of both the Canadian and American Horticultural Therapy Associations.
Sherry feels fortunate to have the opportunity to be part of the talented team at WindReach, and to be able to facilitate wellness in the lives of all participants through the experience of plant and nature-based activities.