Meet our Staff Team
Meet our dedicated staff! Learn more about the people at the Alzheimer Society of Simcoe County.
Laura-Lynn Bourassa is the Manager of Education and Support Programs as of July 4, 2016. Laura-Lynn served as an Education Coordinator since joining the Alzheimer Society of Simcoe County in 2003. She is passionate about creating more awareness about dementia and is very pleased to see how our conversations regarding Alzheimer’s disease and other dementias have changed over the years.
Laura-Lynn was born and raised in Barrie and still resides there with her husband and three children.
Dana Bessette is an Education Coordinator, working out of the Barrie location, servicing Barrie and South Simcoe. Dana oversees Public Education programs, as well as managing the Music & Memory iPod program. Dana has been with the Alzheimer Society of Simcoe County since 2013, starting as a volunteer. She has a love for seniors and is thoroughly enjoying her work with the Alzheimer Society.
Dana was born and raised in Etobicoke but has been living in Springwater Township for the past 7 years, enjoying the surrounding Simcoe Forest. She lives there with her husband and two girls.
Erika Rice is Education Coordinator serving Orillia, North Simcoe and South Georgian Bay. She is primarily involved in our Family and Professional Education programs. Erika has been with the Alzheimer Society of Simcoe County for over 11 years. Originally working as the fundraiser for the organization, Erika developed a passion for helping people whose lives have been impacted by dementia. In 2013 she moved into the role of Education Coordinator where she can focus on her love of assisting people.
Erika and her family have lived in Penetaguishene since 2000, but her roots are in Saskatchewan and she will always be a prairie girl at heart.
Michelle Menecola is the First Link Care Navigator serving Simcoe County. Michelle is passionate about helping to enhance the lives of those living with dementia and their care partners. She loves working with such a passionate team and is enjoying this new role with the Alzheimer Society.
Michelle was born and raised in Stayner
Susan Nagy is a Family Support Coordinator serving Orillia. She feels encouraged by the growing awareness and understanding around living well with dementia. Originally starting in the Education Coordinator role, Susan has been with the Alzheimer Society of Simcoe County since 2002 and transitioned into Family Support in 2008.
Susan was a “transplant” to Orillia to take on this role and continues to enjoy living on the doorstep to Muskoka and all the outdoor opportunities it brings.
Heidi Haupt is a Family Support Coordinator serving Barrie. She has been part of the Alzheimer Society of Simcoe County Support Services team since 2003 and volunteered for the Society prior to becoming staff. Heidi has been inspired by so many people living with dementia and their care partners over the last 13 years and enjoys being a member of such a great staff team!
Heidi was born and raised in Barrie and now resides in Oro-Medonte with her husband and two daughters.
Meredith Barrie is a Family Support Coordinator serving Barrie and North Simcoe. Meredith comes to us from the Alzheimer Society of Peterborough, Jawartha Lakes, Northhumerland & Haliurton, where she worked in a similar role.
Meredith is looking forward to getting to know the Simcoe County community and establishing relationships with the new clients that will come her way.
Meredith currently lives in Orillia.
Sanju Hirji is a Family Support Coordinator serving South Simcoe. Sanju comes to us with a Bachelor of Science Degree in Nursing from University of British Columbia. She was previously employed as an Intake Nurse for Home and Community Care with the Fraser Health region in Surrey, BC. Prior to that, Sanju was employed in LTC as both educator and Director of Care. She has many years of experience as a home care nurse and nurse case manager, working with clients and families with dementia as well as end of life care. Sanju has been a volunteer with the Alzheimer Society of Simcoe County since 2017. She has volunteered with the Minds in Motion program, co-facilitates a Care Partner Support group in south Simcoe and lastly served on the Board of Directors.
Stephanie Saunders is a Family Support Coordinator serving South Georgian Bay. Stephanie has a bachelor of Social Work from McMaster University and has been with the Alzheimer Society of Simcoe County for 10 years. Stephanie started out in the Support Coordinator role and then moved to the Social Work position with Behavioural Support Services, and has returned to the support services team. Stephanie is thrilled to be a part of a great staff team and is looking forward to connecting and supporting individuals living with dementia and their care partners.
Katherine Breeson is the Events Coordinator who joined the team in March 2020. Katherine has enjoyed a 25+ year career in advertising and publishing and has been producing and organizing events for over 10 years. She is passionate about supporting community causes and is enthusiastic about bringing awareness to those affected by Alzheimer's disease and other dementias through the event for the Alzheimer Society in Simcoe County.
Marguerite Glanfield is the Volunteer Resource Coodinator for the Alzheimer Society of Simcoe County. She started to work at the Alzheimer Society in 1996 in the newly created position of Coordinator of Volunteers. Over the years, the volunteer program has grown to meet the needs of the Alzheimer Society in every aspect of its programming.
When asked what she enjoys most about her position, Marguerite replies, "I get to meet fabulous people who want to volunteer with the Society! Our talented, generous, and kind volunteers are embedded in every aspect of our work. It is wonderful to see volunteers involved in activities that they find meaningful, allowing them to give back to the community and providing them the opportunity to meet new friends."
Born in Bermuda, Marguerite immigrated to Canada with her parents at the age of 8. She has lived in various communities in Ontario over the years. She and her husband Al have lived in Alcona for 21 years.
Kristin Smith is the Administrative Assistant for the Alzheimer Society of Simcoe County. She has a diploma in Medical Administration and is new to the Alzheimer Society of Simcoe County Team. Kristin loves being part of such a hardworking, passionate team of people who all have the same goal: helping and guiding those living with dementia and their care partners to ensure they have the resources and tools they need.
Kristin was born in Montreal but raised in Barrie and still resides there with her family and friends.
Minds in Motion
Taryl Bougie comes to us with over 20 years of experience working with older adults living with dementia, in both the community and long-term care settings. She formerly worked as Life Enrichment Coordinator at Grove Park Home in Barrie where she worked since 2007. Prior to that, Taryl was an Activationist at Coleman Care Centre in Barrie for two years. From 1995 to 2005, she was a Social Service Worker for St. Joseph’s Care Group in Thunder Bay, ON. Taryl has a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Psychology from Lakehead University, and a Community Gerontology Diploma and Personal Support Worker Certificate from Confederation College in Thunder Bay. She is also a Certified Gentle Persuasive Approaches (GPA) in Dementia Care Coach and a trainer in Montessori Methods for Dementia Care.
Lynda Low has over 15 years of experience facilitating educational groups with adult learners. She formerly worked with YWCA Muskoka providing group learning for women at transition points in their lives. This included life skills and entrepreneurship training as well as initiatives supporting individuals living in poverty. Prior to this she was self-employed, providing entrepreneurship training to groups throughout Ontario. She brings with her an understanding of the challenges and benefits of living in rural communities. A life-long learner, she has extensive studies in Adult Education through Athabasca University and Lakehead University as well as music training through the Royal Conservatory of Music.