Brian Orr


Brian Orr and his wife Jeri moved to London in 2001. He has been a member of the Participation House Support Services Board since 2002, and is currently the Board Chair. Prior to moving to London, Brian served on the Boards of Reena and Surrey Place.

Brian currently works as a management consulting to clients across Southwestern Ontario. He has a broad health care background having held executive positions at the London Health Sciences Centre, The Hospital for Sick Children and the Regional Cancer Centres Employers Association.


Jacqueline Scott, CGA


Jacqueline Scott is one of the newest members of the Participation House Support Services Board of Directors, joining as the Treasurer in 2013. She currently is also part of the Participation House Support Services finance committee, which sparked her initial interest to sit on the Board of Directors.

Using her previous experience as the CFO at Sydenham Community Credit Union Ltd, she is now the CFO at Penta TMR, located in Petrolia, Ontario. Jacqueline lives in Strathroy, Ontario,also sits on the Board of Directors for WOTCH as the Chair of Finance, and in her spare time, Jacqueline enjoys jogging, reading, good movies, and spending time with friends and family.

Maureen Reid


Maureen Reid retired after 32 years of working in child protection where she oversaw a unit of forty, front-line child protection workers with specializations in the areas of sexual abuse and domestic violence.

Since her retirement in 2011, Maureen has provided consultant services to several Children’s Aid Societies in the province, as well as training for the Ontario Association of Children’s Aid Societies in Forensic Interviewing Skills and Responding to Domestic Violence. She also provides training in the United States, consults for the Centre for Children in the Justice System of the Family Court Clinic, and provides counselling services at the Womenís Rural Resource centre and clinical supervision services at Changing Ways, a partner abuse response program.

Maureen is a Community Research Consultant for the Centre for Research and Education on Violence Against Women and Children. She has sat on the Participation House Board of Directors since 2008.

Maria Sinosic

Maria has been associated with Participation House Support Services since 2000 when she was among a group of parents who negotiated with the Ministry of Community and Social Services to partner with Participation House Support Services for the operation of Project Hope. Since that time Maria has been a member the Finance, Policy & Oversight, Quality Assurance, Public Relations Committees and also chaired the Support Services Board of Directors. She is also a member of the Foundation Board. Through this involvement Maria is very aware of the dedication and effort of both staff and senior management toward providing a rich quality of life for the people supported by Participation House.

Maria has extensive experience in education and uses her skills to help Participation House wherever it is appropriate.

Maria is married to Bruno, enjoys spending time with her a son and his family, as well as her daughter Christine who is supported by Participation House.

Margaret Szilassy

Vice Chair

Margaret is a partner in the firm of Hicks Morley Hamilton Stewart Storie LLP, practicing out of the Firm’s London office. Her practice includes all aspects of labour and employment law, with a particular emphasis on occupational health and safety and human rights.

Margaret has been a member of the Board of Directors of Participation House Support Services – London & Area since 2010. She first come aware of Participation House when it came to the aid of a close friend of hers. She joined the Board in hopes that she could make a positive contribution to the lives of the people Participation House serves. Along with sitting on the Board, Margaret volunteers on the Participation House Policy and Oversight Committee.

Kathy Wallis

Kathy Wallis joined the Board for Participation House Support Services in 2010, and has chaired the Public Relations Committee ever since.

She first learned about PHSS years ago when she was a reporter for CFPL-TV, now called CTVtwo, covering the opening of a home in Byron. Kathy remembers telling Director Brian Dunne that she hoped her nephew, Harry, would one day live in just that kind of wonderful home when he was an adult, and ready to move away from his family. Years later, Harry is happily living in a home supported by PHSS, and Kathy is trying to help the organization tell its story to more people.

Kathy left the television station and worked as the Media Relations Officer for the Schulich School of Medicine & Dentistry at Western University since 2006. She is now enjoying retirement with her husband Dave, two grown children and one granddaughter.

Elizabeth Wasko

Elizabeth has called London home for virtually all of her life. She completed all of her schooling locally, including completing her University education. After 31 years of teaching, Elizabeth decided to retire from educating Kindergarten children. Throughout her career she worked continuously for the students to achieve their maximum potential. After her retirement, Elizabeth looked for ways that she could contribute to society and found involvement with Participation House to be a perfect fit. Elizabeth comes from a large family of four siblings and twelve nieces and nephews. Her involvement with them emphasizes the importance of “home”.

Participation House works hard to provide wonderful homes for those they serve as well as meaningful involvement in many activities and programs so that our people can do and be the best they can be. She admires how PH offers settings where individuals with significant challenges find dignity and comfort in community, and she feels privileged to be involved.

Mervin Sharpe

Merv’s future involvement with Participation House actually began about thirty-six years ago when it became clear that his daughter had significant developmental challenges. Over the next many years Merv’s wife and himself were on numerous MCSS committees and worked with advocacy groups like Our Special Children. When the institutions began closing they knew parents of children who would be returning to the community. A number of those parents formed New Frontiers Support Services; Merv served on that Board for several years. Subsequently another group of parents formed Family-Directed Alternatives, a small support service funded by MCSS (Participation House flows FDA’s funds). In 2008 Participation House began supporting his daughter, and subsequently Merv was invited to join the Board, and has been a member ever since. Merv is also a member of the Quality Assurance Committee and a member of the Rights Sub-Committee.

Dianne Elliott

Catherine Sexton

Steve Elson

Steve Elson is one of our newest Board members. Steve lives in London with his wife, Carol, and he currently works for both the London Health Sciences Centre and St. Joseph’s Health Care London.  It is his work that brought him into contact with Participation House Support Services, as he has been involved in planning for and addressing the health care needs of adults living with long-term mechanical ventilation, some of whom are being supported by Participation House.

Steve has worked in health care for almost 30 years in Niagara, Southeastern Ontario and now in the Southwest.  He brings a broad experience in health care planning, systems change, and health services integration to the Participation House Support Services Board of Directors.

Virginia Rutledge

Lynda Robinson

Linda Coffin

Carmell Tait


Carmell Tait has had the privilege of working with individuals with disabilities and their families for over 37 years, the last 27 years at Participation House Support Services. During her time with us, she has worked with an incredible team of staff members who are caring and compassionate and have worked tirelessly to support individuals and their families to live in their community amongst family and friends.

Carmell’s educational background is in economics, business, negotiation and mediation and numerous courses on quality assurance and value based service provision. She also works on a number of local and provincial committees.

Brian J. Dunne


Brian Dunne has been the Executive Director of Participation House Support Services – London and Area for over 25 years. Brian has attained a Certified Human Resource Professional Designation in addition to completion of the Executive Leadership Program at Queen’s School of Business. Past employment has included positions with the Ministry of Community & Social Services, Community Living and the Canadian Mental Health Association. He has been/or is currently involved on several boards/committees including Ontario Agencies Supporting Individuals with Special Needs and Focus Accreditation.

Deborah Jazey

Honorary Member

Leo Kirwin

Honorary Member