Board of Directors

2017 – 2018 Board of Directors

Nigel Jacobs, Chair
Dave Dyson, Vice Chair
John O’Brien, Treasurer and Chair, Finance Committee
Mae Radford, Secretary and Chair, Governance Committee
Don Osborne, Chair, Expansion Committee
Lawrence Leung. Chair, Hike for Carpenter Hospice
Mo Ali
Graham Bentley
Donna Commerford
Deanna Heroux
Brent Paszt
Anne Swarbrick
Michelle Shilton


Nigel Jacobs, Chair
Nigel Jacobs, Board MemberNigel Jacobs is the Chief Executive Officer of Taylor Leibow LLP and is a Certified Management Accountant.  Nigel has extensive professional and community board experience.  He has served on the Public Accountants Council of the Province of Ontario, is presently the Director of Finance of the Burlington Chamber Of Commerce and is the immediate Past President of the Association of Accounting Administration.  Nigel was the Treasurer of Grindstone Church for 11 years and has also served on the board of the Disabled Aged Regional Transit System.”

“I am passionate about giving back to the community where I live.  I was delighted when the opportunity arose to serve on the Carpenter Hospice Board of Directors, in order to represent and be part of an organization that provides a wonderful caring service to families at their greatest time of need.”

Dave Dyson, Vice Chair 
Dave Dyson, Board MemberDave Dyson is a long-time Burlington resident who has worked primarily in banking and financial services since obtaining his MBA from McMaster University.  He started his own business in the financial services field, which he ran successfully until 2004 when he sold the firm to devote himself to family and community endeavours.  A total “people person,” Dave believes involvement drives success.  He is currently an active member and director of the Burlington Golf and Country Club, most recently serving on numerous committees, running golf, curling and social events.

“To me, success in life is about much more than just success in business.  I think that notion stems from the experience of losing my older brother to cancer when I was barely in my teens and realizing the importance of support when people are facing terminal illness.  Working with Carpenter Hospice has been cathartic for me in so many ways. I’m proud of the role we play in the community and I am proud to spread the word so that others know what services are available to them through the hospice.”

John O’Brien, Treasurer and Chair, Finance Committee
John O'BrienJohn O’Brien has enjoyed a thirty-year career with the Roman Catholic Diocese of Hamilton, primarily as Director of Cemeteries and Business Administrator, and most recently in the role of Episcopal Delegate for Cemeteries and Insurance. He has served on the Board of St. Joseph Villa in Dundas, a Long Term Care facility and currently serves as a Director on the Board of the Bereavement Authority of Ontario.

John grew up in Burlington and has recently relocated to Aldershot after living in Hamilton for many years. He is happy to be involved in the community again through the Carpenter Hospice.

“Having had the privilege of assisting many grieving families over the years, and known friends and colleagues who have experienced the caring environment of the Carpenter Hospice in their final days, I have come to appreciate just how important compassionate end of life care is to the residents and their families. I hope to bring greater awareness of this important facility to the Burlington community and through the collective efforts of the Board, Staff and Volunteers help to ensure its long term sustainability.”

Mae Radford, Chair, Governance Committee
Mae RadfordWith an extensive nursing career as a registered nurse in the hospital and community health and support services, in her last position, Mae served as Manager, Volunteer Services at VON Hamilton, overseeing operations with more than 1,700 volunteers delivering a variety of community health and support services one of which was a Palliative Volunteer Visiting Program. Mae’s interests extend to issues related to violence against woman and human rights. She served on the Advisory Committee on Violence against Women for the City of Burlington and the Ontario Human Rights Commission. She is serving the community through Rotary and on the Board of Directors, Joseph Brant Hospital, and this year, Mae was elected as a Director for the Board of Carpenter Hospice.

“As a nurse, my interest has been to care for people, to help them achieve comfort and relief from any pain, physical, mental, emotional or spiritual. I am proud to join with this strong leadership team and Board in continuing excellence in hospice care and broadening awareness of hospice in our community.”

Don Osborne, Chair, Expansion Committee
Don OsborneDon is a proven senior manager with experience in the United States and Canada in energy efficient buildings; project, construction and facility management; engineering; electric energy; oil and natural gas; and pipelines. Don currently provides consulting, project development and project management services to commercial and institutional building owners. Don has managed project teams of architects, engineers (mechanical, electrical, structural), general contractors and testing and inspection specialists.

“Through my involvement with Joseph Brant Hospital, I developed an understanding of the critical need for palliative services beyond the institutional services offered in our acute care community hospitals. Carpenter Hospice provides high quality residential care options for patients and families in very difficult times. As a Board member, I hope to contribute to the ongoing success of this remarkable organization.”

Lawrence Leung, Chair, Hike for Carpenter Hospice
Lawrence Leung had been the Owner and Pharmacist of Brant Plaza Pharmacy in Burlington for the past 22 years. He was instrumental in setting up the Halton Emergency Information Vial project with the Halton Region Health Department, Paramedic Services Division. Lawrence was also a regular contributor to the Burlington Seniors’ Centre quarterly newsletter and a regular presenter at their educational seminar series. He is currently the President Elect for the Rotary Club of Burlington Central (RCBC). Lawrence had served as the Treasurer for the RCBC for 3 years and the Rotary Burlington Music Festivals for 5 years.

“As a community Pharmacist, I have seen many patients and their loved ones facing the end of life situation. Carpenter Hospice enriches and strengthens our community by offering support to those in their final days. I feel very privileged to join the Board and contribute to the continued success of the Hospice.”

Mo Ali
Photo of Mo AliMo Ali is a retired physician who served as the chief of Hematology and chief of staff at St. Joseph’s Hospital in Hamilton. He joined the Faculty of Medicine at McMaster University in 1970 and is now a Senior Tutor and Professor Emeritus in the medical school. He has been a Rotarian for 30 years and served as the honorary medical advisor to the YMCA since 1986.

Mo believes that serving the community is a privilege and was fortunate enough to be a member of the founding board of the Hospice. He was chair of the Board for two years and medical advisor for 10 years.

Mo is looking forward to being a part of the new phase in the Hospice development.

“A home-like setting was our goal in 2000 and I hope our goal in 2016 will be to realize a dream home-like setting and bring nature closer to residents.”

Graham Bentley
Photograph of Graham BentleyGraham Bentley is a partner with Bay Consulting Group with more than 35 years of experience in consulting to the Ontario Government, not-for-profit organizations, regional health care planning bodies, hospitals, long-term care residences, child welfare and children’s mental health agencies and local governments.  Graham is a professional engineer with a bachelor’s degree in industrial engineering from the University of Toronto and a master’s degree in business administration from York University.  As part of his community activities, he has provided consulting services for the Board of the Art Gallery of Burlington on a voluntary basis.

“Over my consulting career I have seen the increasing importance of hospice care in helping families and their loved ones face the many challenges presented by this most difficult stage in life.  My goal as a board member is to contribute to the continued success of Carpenter Hospice as vital community resource in providing high quality care in a comforting and supportive environment.”

Donna CommerfordDonna Commerford
Having spent most of her career in the Education field, teaching in both the elementary and secondary panel, Donna has also worked as a School Administrator and Board Consultant with both the Catholic and Public Boards of Education across Ontario.  More recently, she has been working with IBM as an Educational Consultant assisting School Districts in the development of innovative technology strategies and opportunities for implementation. Having worked with numerous Districts across Canada, including First Nation Reserves, Donna has extensive experience in both strategic planning and project management. She has served on many Charitable Boards and committees including Chair of the Cobourg Family YMCA. Since moving to Burlington, Donna has been involved with Ronald McDonald House and has chaired their annual Gala for several years and more recently was involved with the planning of the 100-year Gala celebration of the Rotary Club of Hamilton.

“I am honoured to be part of the Board of Directors of Carpenter Hospice. The service provided by Carpenter Hospice is vital to our community. Providing a loving and peaceful environment for the whole family in their time of need is so important and must be maintained.”

Deanna HerouxPhoto of D Heroux
Deanna is Director in the Health and Life Sciences management consulting practice at KPMG. For the past 15 years, Deanna’s focus has been to help advance our health and social care system – working with system leaders and key stakeholder communities of hospitals, LHINs, provincial government and municipal government. Deanna brings extensive experience in transformational change through strategy development, integration and system redesign initiatives and organizational reviews in healthcare, social services and the broader public sector. 

“It is a privilege to serve on the board of the Carpenter Hospice – a true jewel in our community. My core belief is that the end of life journey is about living every moment and holistically caring for and supporting individuals and their families. I look forward to contributing to this wonderful organization’s continued success.”

Brent PasztBrent Paszt
Brent is a life-long Burlington resident with deep roots in the community. After many years as a proven leader in the broadcast television industry, Brent decided on a career change that brought him closer to home. As a local Realtor he prides himself on service to others. This sense of service is particularly evident in his charitable activities, most significantly through his work as a Rotarian where he is currently President of the Rotary Club of Burlington Lakeshore. He is also active as a supporter of The Burlington Teen Tour Band, both as a proud parent and former member himself. He is the proud father of two daughters. Brent is looking forward to serving on the board of directors and to help contribute to the continued success of The Carpenter Hospice.

“I know from first-hand experience what a wonderfully compassionate and caring place The Carpenter Hospice is. It is a special place that helps to make the final days a resident has with their families and loved ones peaceful and comforting for all. I am so very grateful for the opportunity to work with the board and to give back to this remarkable place.”

Anne Swarbrick
Anne Swarbrick, Board MemberAnne Swarbrick has led organizations including Habitat for Humanity Halton, the Toronto Community Foundation, and the Canadian AIDS Treatment Information Exchange.  She served in the Ontario government from 1990 to 1995 as MPP for Scarborough West, including as Minister of Culture, Tourism and Recreation and as Minister for Women’s Issues.  She currently chairs the Board of the Art Gallery of Burlington Foundation and serves on several of the Gallery’s committees.  She was a founder of the Halton Poverty Roundtable.

“The growth of the palliative care sector has long been important to me.  I played a key role in my mother’s journey with cancer of the pancreas, including helping to make it possible for her to complete that journey at home surrounded by our family’s love, when hospices were not available. I am impressed by the Carpenter Hospice’s role in supporting individuals and families in our community at such a precious time in their lives, and am honoured to have the opportunity to assist.”

Michelle Shilton 
Michelle Shilton works in the department of Palliative Care at Hamilton Health Sciences and is a member of the Ethics Consultation team. She is an Assistant Clinical Professor at McMaster University where she is involved in the clinical and academic education of students from a variety of health disciplines. Michelle is an active volunteer with Medical Missions International, the medical team for the Weekend to End Cancer and the Canadian Cancer Society. She also serves on the Board of Directors with the Burlington Gymnastics Club.

“It is my belief that the end of life journey deserves as much dignity, care and compassion as the beginning. I am honoured to be serving on the board of this incredible organization and look forward to making a positive difference for our patients, their families and the community”.


For more information about our Board of Directors please call 905-631-9994 extension 111.