Board of Directors


Our Board of Directors are the heart of the Alzheimer Society Waterloo Wellington team. Learn more about them.

Alzheimer Society Waterloo Wellington wordmark and identifier.

Board members and volunteers help shape the strategic direction and sustainability of the Society. Learn more about how you can get involved by contacting us at [email protected]

The Alzheimer Society Board of Directors for 2022/23 are:


Kim Cusimano, Chair

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-centered 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.


Lisa Deguire, Vice Chair

Lisa holds a Honours Bachelor of Science degree in Biology from the University of Waterloo and started her career in the pharmaceutical industry. She then made a career change to Human Resources working up to the executive level in the mining industry at the end of her corporate career. Lisa is a Certified Training & Development Professional (CTDP) and Human Capital Strategist (HCS) and now supports organizations as a Leadership and Organizational Effectiveness consultant. She is currently pursuing her Accredited Coaching Certification (ACC) with the International Coaching Federation.

In 2018, Lisa’s mother was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s and she became her Power of Attorney. Supporting her father, she had to navigate the healthcare system to place her mother in long-term care. In so doing, she became a member of the Alzheimer Society of Waterloo Wellington.

Lisa is passionate about blending her diverse skills and prior board experience to raise awareness about this disease in order to support those afflicted with it and their caregivers, to promote prevention strategies for future generations, as well as to enable research for cause and cure.

Uzzam Riaz, Treasurer

Uzzam is an Associate Chartered Accountant (ACA) from the Institute of Chartered Accountants of England & Whales (ICAEW), Fellow Chartered Certified Accountant (FCCA) from the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants, UK. He also volunteered as a member of the 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.


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 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.


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 importance 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.

Catherine Jones, Director 

Catherine has worked in a variety of leadership, educational and clinical roles in health care. The lived experience of her father’s vascular dementia sparked a passion for supporting our elders. Catherine and a physician colleague played instrumental roles in developing a geriatric clinic in Simcoe County where she worked as a Nurse Practitioner diagnosing and managing dementia.  

After retiring in the spring of 2020, Catherine relocated to the Waterloo area. She is currently the care partner for a close family friend living with dementia. Catherine has been an active volunteer supporting environmental initiatives. She has also served on the executive of community boards. She brings a deep understanding of the needs of care partners and governance experience to the Waterloo Wellington Alzheimer Society.


Janis Randall Simpson, Director 

Janis Randall Simpson is a Registered Dietitian. She is Professor Emerita in the Applied Human Nutrition
program at the University of Guelph where she is still active in teaching and research.  Janis has just finished a four-year term as volunteer, part-time Executive Director of the Canadian Foundation for Dietetic Research, the research foundation associated with Dietitians of Canada.  

Recent experience as a caregiver to her late husband, who was afflicted with Parkinson’s Disease and Lewy Body Dementia, led Janis to the terrific programming through the Alzheimer’s Society of Waterloo Wellington (ASWW).  

She is excited to be able to contribute to the ASWW Board to fulfill its mandate to provide programs and services for those with various forms of dementia. 

Ian Kaufman, Director 

Having recently moved to Waterloo region, Ian was eager to give back to his new community and joined the board of ASWW in the summer of 2021. Through his partner's employment in the healthcare sector, and having had a grandmother face the challenges of living with dementia; Ian appreciates the great work and meaningful improvements that organizations such as ASWW provide to those members of the community that are impacted by this disease. Ian is a senior advisor with the Ontario Public Service and has received a Bachelor of Public Affairs and Policy Analysis along with a Master of Political Management, both from Carleton University. 


Christine Rupert, Director

Christine is an Occupational Therapist and adult educator.  Through her many years experience supporting patients and families living in the community, she has experienced firsthand the education, programs and emotional supports offered by the Alzheimer Society.  These supports have provided caregivers with knowledge about dementia and allowed them to keep their loved ones at home longer.

Christine graduated from the University of Toronto with a Bachelor of Science, Occupational Therapy and later returned to school to obtain her Bachelor of Education, Adult Education from Brock University.  She lives in Kitchener with her husband and adult daughters and is passionate about giving back to the community in which she lives and works.

She is also a volunteer coach with Special Olympics Kitchener-Waterloo and is pursuing her NCCP Coaching Certification.

Victoria Shi, Director

Growing up in Toronto, Victoria’s grandparents played a large role in her life, living with her family in an intergenerational household over the course of her childhood. When her grandmother was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s, the Alzheimer Society’s online resources were an important and critical source of support for her as a new caregiver for someone who once cared for her. She is now incredibly grateful to be able to give back to an organization that has meant so much to her and her family, and serve a population with the same support that impacted her so deeply.

Victoria is currently a medical student at McMaster University, at the Waterloo Regional Campus in downtown Kitchener. She is devoted to bringing healthcare and empathy together for better patient understanding and care. In her spare time, she enjoys spending time with her partner and their cat, Dumpling, and hand building functional ceramics.


Ernest Doyle, Director

Ernie is an experienced financial executive, who brings a successful track record of providing strategic leadership and operational support to both large internationally managed operations and smaller privately - owned companies.

He currently serves as Vice President – Finance for the Canadian Warplane Heritage Museum. Prior to that, his career includes working at a senior management level in the packaging, plastics and food processing industries in both Canada and the United States. He has extensive experience in the areas of corporate finance and accounting, strategic planning, taxation, treasury and pension plan management. 

In addition to serving as a Director on several Corporate and University Boards, he is a long-standing member of FEI Canada and has served on the Board for their Southern Golden Horseshoe Chapter.

Ernie holds a Bachelor of Mathematics degree from the University of Waterloo and an MBA from Wilfrid Laurier University.

His interest in the Alzheimer Society stems from having lost his sister to dementia a couple of years ago. At the time, he knew very little about the disease and was devastated by its impact on her. He hopes to be able to contribute to the Board in its mission to improve the quality of life for those living with dementia.