Board of Directors
The Alzheimer Society Board of Directors for 2019/2020 is:
- Rennie Brudnjak, President
Rennie is a CPA who has worked at Sun Life in Finance and Risk Management for almost 20 years. Rennie has volunteered with a number of local organizations including The Literacy Group, Hospice Waterloo Region and Grand River Mental Health. Having seen her mother's health deteriorate under the strain of being a caregiver for a husband with Alzheimer's, she understands the value to the community of providing education and support for families facing those challenges.
- Kim Cusimano, Vice-President
A lived family experience sparked a passion for supporting persons living with dementia. Through an educational background in recreation, leisure and volunteer engagement, Kim has 25+ years of experience in the community, retirement and long-term care as a recreational professional, a leader of volunteers and most recently supporting non-profits and charities with best practices in volunteer involvement and training along with leading marketing, communications and events for PIN – The People and Information Network.
Through these experiences, Kim has had the opportunity to be involved in culture change and dementia care initiatives and is a Master Trainer for an award-winning training program for those supporting persons living with dementia. Kim continues to deepen her awareness and perspective, is an advocate for person centred support and the vital need for meaning and life purpose for all.
As a member of the Board, Kim returns to her non-profit roots and is thrilled to have the opportunity to support the Alzheimer Society as it seeks to support persons living with dementia to live their best day.
- Uzzam Riaz, Treasurer
Uzzam is an Associate Chartered Accountant (ACA) from Institute of Chartered Accountants of England & Whales (ICAEW), Fellow Chartered Certified Accountant (FCCA) from Association of Chartered Certified Accountants, UK. He also volunteered as a member in CPD Committee of ICAB for 4 years. Uzzam loves hiking, playing with his daughter and reading.
Uzzam has been working with Deloitte for over 12 years in Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, Barbados and most recently in Canada. During this time, he has had various opportunities to spend time for the firm’s volunteer activities like Impact Day, one day specified to do volunteer work with any local organizations on an annual basis, and Lifelong learning labs (labs carried out to give some start-up ideas to students or new graduates).
Most recently, Uzzam joined the board of Alzheimer Society Waterloo Wellington, where he aims to play a part in making the Society most effective in serving people living with Alzheimer's. In addition to serving the board, he is also the Treasurer overseeing the finance functions of the Society.
- Jesse Dugard, Director
Jesse joined the board of ASWW in the summer of 2019. Jesse is passionate about giving back in the community that he lives and works in; he takes pride in being involved in ASWW and several other local non-profit community organizations. Jesse was first touched by Alzheimer’s when his grandmother was diagnosed with the disease, as a result he saw firsthand the impact that the disease has on loved ones and recognized the important of organizations such as ASWW. Jesse has worked at BMO Financial Group for over a decade the last seven years of which have been at BMO Nesbitt Burns where he is an Investment Advisor. Jesse is a graduate of The University of Guelph where he obtained a Bachelor of Commerce degree. He lives in Waterloo with his wife.
- Cathy Harrington, Director
Cathy Harrington has worked for more than 25 years in the non-profit sector within Waterloo Region and Wellington County. She is currently the Executive Director of Community Care Concepts of Woolwich, Wellesley and Wilmot, a non-profit organization which provides services and supports to help seniors and adults with disabilities to living independently in their own homes. Prior to this role, Cathy worked for 22 years as the Director of Employment and Housing at Lutherwood. Beyond her knowledge and experience in working with seniors, Cathy brings experience in partnership development, program development, community development, direct front-line experience as well as senior management experience related to a variety of areas of the non-profit sector including employment, housing, poverty reduction, community services, counselling services and related areas impacting individuals and families in our community. Cathy is an alumni of the University of Guelph (Bachelor of Applied Science specializing in Gerontology) and Wilfrid Laurier University ( MSW). Cathy is also an instructor at Conestoga College, where she teaches in the Community and Social Services Management program. She is interested in the work of ASWW as a result of personal experience within her immediate family as well as through her interest in helping her local community. Born and raised in Perth County (Listowel), Cathy currently resides in Waterloo with her husband and three boys.
- Christopher Loucks, Director
Like so many others, Chris has had to face Alzheimer's and Lewey Body Syndrome with their devastating effects on his family. He is looking to help the Alzheimer Society to extend it's reach to more Persons With Dementia and their families. As a Board member, he hopes to use his background in Board governance, financial reporting and business process improvement to help the amalgamated Waterloo Wellington organization to grow. As a chartered accountant with a background serving entrepreneurial companies, he has seen the way that community initiatives and re-investment can create a culture of business success. In his consulting practice he has worked with numerous local companies on various strategic growth initiatives. There is a growing movement locally to create this same culture of partnership and re-investment in our community service organizations. He will work to ensure the financial viability of the society as well as its future partnership strategies.
- Samantha Martin, Director
Samantha Martin is a social worker in the field of geriatric mental health, with a strong background in dementia support. She graduated with her Masters of Social Work from the University of Toronto, specializing in Gerontology and completing a combined Aging Across the Life Course certificate. She has worked in numerous areas of dementia care, ranging from services in long term care, hospital and palliative care settings, community outreach, public awareness, research, advocacy, addictions, mental health and program development. Samantha started working at the Alzheimer Society in 2010 as a student and has since continued her involvement with the Society in numerous volunteer roles. She is extremely passionate about the field of gerontology and dementia support and is excited to be applying her frontline knowledge and experience to the further development of the Alzheimer Society Waterloo Wellington.
- Cheryl Sarnavka, Secretary
A CPA CGA, serial entrepreneur with over 20 years of senior level management experience in various industries including Pharmaceutical, Financial Services, Real Estate, Manufacturing, Advertising, Communication and Retail. Her unique management style, classic “customer service is an important key to business continuity”, and a respect for every level within an organization has created a devout team of followers who consider Cheryl a great mentor, trusted friend, colleague and advisor.
She is an individual who believes in trust, loyalty, integrity and transparency. She is both a highly skilled, analytical thinker and a creative, sales oriented leader. Creating policies, controls and leading organizations through successful execution of their strategic plans is second nature to her.
Cheryl climbed the corporate ladder starting out as a General Accountant and quickly working her way up to Controller, Vice President and then Chief Financial Officer. Cheryl has a passion for achieving results and helping others obtain their goals. She is a highly focused, driven team leader who is an effective relationship builder. She uses her spare time and unique ability to rally teams to support local community building efforts.
Board members and volunteers help shape the strategic direction and sustainability of the Society.
We are currently recruiting directors with experience/expertise in the following areas:
- Person living with Alzheimer’s or dementia / or / Person with caregiving experience with a person living with Alzheimer’s or dementia
Click here to learn more about the roles and how to apply.
Learn more about how you can get involved through volunteering.