Board of Directors
Douglas Lawson, Chair
Douglas Lawson has 30 years of senior business and financial management experience across a diverse range of industries and size of businesses including Molson Breweries (consumer products), Nexient Learning Inc. (TSE listed corporate education and training company), Bowne Internet Solutions (Internet solutions provider) as well as various manufacturing and distribution enterprises. During his career, Doug has also worked as a consultant to a number of start-up companies. Currently, Doug is Senior Vice President & Chief Financial Officer of North American Fur Auctions, a private company with operations in Europe, North America and Asia.
Mr. Lawson received his Bachelor of Business Administration degree from Wilfrid Laurier University and is a Chartered Accountant with a further Corporate Finance designation granted by the Canadian Institute of Chartered Accountants. He has also earned the ICD.D certification granted by The Institute of Corporate Directors, the professional body representing the director community in Canada. Mr. Lawson has been a Director of the Foundation’s Board since 2002 and assumed the position of Vice Chair in 2014.
George Rodger, Vice Chair
George Rodger has worked for the YMCA for nearly 50 years. While attending high school and university he was a member of Hi-Y, a counselor at YMCA Big Cove Camp and a fellowship student working at the Community YMCA in Halifax. He began his fulltime YMCA career with the YMCA of Greater Toronto in 1967, where he rose to the position of Vice President of Financial and Facility Development responsible for the Project Management of five new YMCA facilities for Greater Toronto. During this time, Mr. Rodger became a founder of the North American YMCA Development Organization (NAYDO) and the first Secretary/Treasurer.
In 1981 Mr. Rodger became the CEO to the YMCA of Greater Halifax/Dartmouth while simultaneously working as the National Consultant for YMCA Canada on Philanthropy and Capital Development. From 1996 to 2004, he worked as the Senior Vice President of Development for the YMCA of Greater Vancouver and managed the building of and Campaign to fund the new Tong Louie Family YMCA, the first YMCA built in British Columbia in 25 years. From 2004 to 2007 he held the position of MRC Coordinator for YMCA Canada East and additionally served as the Design and Capital Campaign Consultant for Vancouver’s new downtown Robert Lee YMCA as well as Strategic Consultant to YMCA Calgary’s Capital Campaign.
Mr. Rodger has worked as a Strategic Consultant to The World Alliance of YMCAs in Geneva, Switzerland, YMCA Canada, the YMCA of Greater Vancouver, the YMCA of Greater Toronto, the YMCA of Niagara, YMCA Canada East, the YMCA of Greater Halifax/Dartmouth, the National Capital Region YMCA-YWCA (Ottawa) and was the Facility Consultant and Campaign Director for the NEW Fundy YMCA.
Mr. Rodger was born in Kentville, Nova Scotia, and grew up in Halifax where he attended Dalhousie University. He is a recipient of the Queen’s Jubilee Medal and was made a companion member of the YMCA Canada Fellowship of Honor in 2013. He has been a Director on the Foundation’s Board since 2005.
Barb Mason, Secretary & Treasurer
Barb Mason has worked in administration for 25 years, mainly in the financial services sector, investment management and accounting. She currently works for the United Church of Canada in Bracebridge, Ontario. Ms. Mason was born and raised in Toronto, but now lives in Muskoka where she can indulge her passion for hiking and outdoor activities.
After graduating from Carleton University with a Bachelor of Journalism Honours, she spent time back-packing through Great Britain, Ireland, Scandinavia and Europe, which solidified her love of travel, and has led to more recent trips to Eastern Europe, East Africa, and South America. She has been involved with The Counselling Foundation of Canada since 1988, and has been a Director since 2003 and assumed the position of Treasurer & Secretary in 2014. Ms. Mason is also a founding Director of The Canadian Education and Research Institute for Counselling (CERIC).
Jan Dymond, Director
Jan Dymond has over thirty five years of communications and government-related experience. She was appointed to the newly created position of Director of Public Affairs at the Investment Funds Institute of Canada (IFIC) in January of 2012 where she is responsible for internal, external, and member communications along with government relations. For eleven years prior to joining IFIC, Ms. Dymond was the President of Janus Strategy Group Inc. where she provided strategic communications and government relations counsel, planning and management support to organizations that were implementing significant change or seeking to influence stakeholder and public opinion. She was a founding partner of ZED Communications Inc. a Toronto-based public affairs and public relations company that counted some of Canada’s best known retailers, communications and financial services companies among its clients, as well as several federal and provincial government ministries. Ms. Dymond’s career has also included several years in national news, public affairs, and documentary television along with five years as a senior communications advisor to cabinet ministers at both the federal and provincial levels.
In addition to her business activities, Ms. Dymond is an active community and arts volunteer. She is a former member of the Boards of Trustees of the McMichael Canadian Collection and the National Gallery of Canada, a former Director of the Albany and Empire Clubs, and member of Humber College’s Advisory Committee for Visual and Digital Arts and past member of the Advisory Committee on Women’s Studies at Mt St. Vincent University in Halifax. Ms. Dymond has served as a Director on the Foundation’s Board since 2011.
Victoria Grant, Director
Victoria Grant is of the Loon Clan, Teme-Augama Anishnabai, and a member of the Temagami First Nation. Victoria, President and owner of Moving Red Canoe, operates a unique professional services firm focused on Aboriginal affairs. She is an avid volunteer and a passionate voice for a more robust Aboriginal presence within the philanthropic world. Victoria is Chair of Community Foundations of Canada and past Chair of The Circle on Philanthropy and Aboriginal Peoples in Canada, and a member of the Advisory Committee of the Governor General’s Caring Canadian Award.
Jaime Hugessen, Director
Jaime Hugessen is currently Vice President, Group Distribution for Empire Life. In this capacity, he is responsible for the distribution and sales of Empire Group Insurance Solutions across Canada. His career has involved many years in Group Insurance, Pension, Investments, and business development roles.
Mr. Hugessen is a graduate of The University of Toronto where he earned his Executive MBA in 1997. He has served as a Director on the Foundation’s Board since 2008.
Donald G. Lawson
Donald G. Lawson, Director (Chair Emeritus)
Retired since July 2008, Donald Lawson worked in the investment industry for about 60 years, initially as a partner in Moss, Lawson & Co., President and CEO, and subsequently as Chairman. Following the takeover of Moss, Lawson by HSBC Securities (Canada), Mr. Lawson was named Honourary Chairman and continued to serve as an investment advisor to private clients. In business, he served on the Board of Governors of the Toronto Stock Exchange, including a term as its Chairman. He also served on the Board of the Investment Dealers Association of Canada.
Mr. Lawson has been involved with the not-for-profit sector for most of his life. After serving in various capacities within the Metropolitan Toronto YMCA, he became its Chairman at a time when it was approaching bankruptcy. During his watch, decisions were made leading to the regeneration of the Association which now has become a successful $100 million enterprise. Other activities have included United Way Budget Committees, Director and Treasurer of Huntley Youth Services (now Youthlink), Investment Committee of the United Church of Canada, Member of the Board of Regents and Treasurer of Victoria University (an affiliated University within the University of Toronto), Chairman of the Executive Committee and subsequently the Board of Trustees of Lawrence Park Community Church, several years as a Director of the Georgina Bay Land Trust Foundation and various fundraising activities. In 1984, following the death of Frank G. Lawson, the founder of The Counselling Foundation of Canada, Donald Lawson became Chairman of the Board of the Foundation.
Recognition for Mr. Lawson’s accomplishments and volunteer work has come in the form of Officer, the Fellowship of Honour, of the Canadian YMCA, Honourary Doctor of Laws, Dalhousie University, and Honourary Doctor of Sacred Letters, Victoria University. He also received the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal in 2012.
Lorraine Lawson, Director
Elizabeth McTavish, former Executive Director of The Counselling Foundation of Canada, once said of Lorraine Lawson that she provided the “heart” in the Foundation, and upon meeting her it’s easy to see why. Mrs. Lawson’s marriage to Donald Lawson and raising their four children has been the cornerstone of her life, but it would be to underestimate her many contributions to only focus on that. She did not simply follow in her husband’s footsteps, she stood shoulder-to-shoulder with him as an equal partner, and has blazed her own trail in serving her community, taking a leading role in a number of organizations.
Mrs. Lawson’s biggest volunteer role outside of the Foundation has been with the Big Sister Association of Metropolitan Toronto. She has been a member of the Association for over 50 years, and devoted her time, energy and leadership capabilities to helping this organization grow and prosper. From 1977 to 1983 she served in various capacities on the Board, including as President from 1981 to 1983. This was a time of great evolution and change for the organization. Originally mandated to help counsel girls only, the Big Sisters steadily expanded its scope to work with a cross section of inner city youth under the name Huntley Youth Services (now “Youthlink”). During Mrs. Lawson’s presidency, it soon became apparent that there was a growing need for it to offer its services to marginalized youth in some of Toronto’s surrounding communities. Huntley Youth Services took the leap and extended its reach eastwards and opened a new agency, Scarborough Youth Services, with Mrs. Lawson serving as the inaugural Board President. Other challenges during her tenure included including recruitment of a new CEO, the unionization of staff and the need to finance the purchase of the building where the Association’s social enterprise, a thrift shop, was located.
As someone intimately involved in her community, Mrs. Lawson has taken an active role in a number of other pursuits, many of which were related to her work with the United Church of Canada. Her affiliation with the church found her taking on the role of President of the United Church Women’s Association for their home church, as well as serving on a number of other committees. An avid golfer, Mrs. Lawson has served on the Board of the Ontario Branch of Canadian Women's Senior Golf Association, including as its President, and chaired the organizing committee of its 2008 national championship. She has also served as both Captain and President of Ladies Section at the Briars Golf Club and Rosedale Golf Club. Other volunteer roles include as Convener of the Speaker’s Luncheon at the Granite Club, and a Director of the Iron City Fishing Club.
Mrs. Lawson has been a key participant in the Foundation since joining the Board in 1984. She was Vice Chair of the Board of Directors from 1998 to 2014. Over the years, both she and Donald Lawson have quietly gone about the Foundation’s business, meeting with grantees from across Canada, and always shining the spotlight on the work of the Foundation’s grantees, not on themselves. She received the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal in 2012.
Yvonne Lawson, Director
Yvonne Lawson is a past contributor to the Canadian Education and Research Institute for Counselling (CERIC) as a Cannexus conference planning committee member. She is currently Membership Chair of the Women's Auxiliary at Sick Kids Hospital and has been a volunteer as well as board member since 2012. Yvonne is likewise part of the Planning Committee for the Rock the Joint fund raising event on behalf of The Arthritis Society. Rock the Joint has raised $131,000 in support of The Arthritis Society since its debut in 2009.
Carole MacFarlane, Director
Carole MacFarlane is recently retired as Career Programs Coordinator for the Vancouver School Board of Education in British Columbia. This involved overseeing all career programs development in 18 secondary schools and includes Career Preparation, Secondary School Apprenticeship and the provincial Industry Training Authority Accelerated Credentialed Education in Industry Training (ACE IT) Programs. She maintained contact with provincial and federal agencies and ministries for all Career Programs in order to receive, interpret, communicate, and influence district direction. It was also necessary to support, initiate and maintain community partnerships for the purpose of strengthening work experience, career exploration, school and district career conferences, and other career development events. She initiated and supported work experience training programs delivered at public and post-secondary institutions in addition to articulating with these institutions for development of secondary level courses and programs. Part of the job also entailed assisting school and district staffs with organization of professional development related to all areas of career education.
Ms. MacFarlane is currently doing contract work with the BC Career Education Society coordinating and delivering workshops to career educators, parents, administrators and teachers of Grades 4-10 in British Columbia. The purpose of these workshops related to the BC Skills and Training Plan is to promote learning resources available on the Discover Trades BC portal - the one-stop shopping introduction to trades and related resources for students and parents in British Columbia.
She has been an active member of the British Columbia Career Education Society since 1995, was conference chair for 2004-2006, has served on the executive for several years (currently treasurer of the organization) and in November received an honorary lifetime membership with CES. She is also a board member of Junior Achievement British Columbia and is a member of the JA Education Committee.
Ms. MacFarlane joined the Board of the Canadian Education and Research Institute for Counselling (CERIC) in 2008. She also joined the Marketing Committee in the latter part of 2010. She is active with both roles. She has been a Director on the Foundation’s Board since 2011.
Robert Shea, Director
Dr. Rob Shea is the Associate Vice President (Academic and Student Affairs) of the Fisheries and Marine Institute at Memorial University of Newfoundland. Previously, Dr. Shea served as Memorial’s acting Deputy Provost and Associate Vice-President (academic), as well as Dean pro tempore to the Department of Student Affairs and Services.
An avid Dr. Seuss fan, Rob is also an assistant professor in the Faculty of Education, passionately involved in the education of future adult and post-secondary leaders. Armed with an arsenal of degrees in political science, social work, education and a doctorate in higher education leadership; his career has taken him from the front lines of teaching youth with multiple barriers, to the boardrooms of national and international non-profits. Rob has served as president of four national organizations, has been involved in the leadership of over seven others at the national, provincial and regional levels, and is now presiding as the second president of the International Association of Student Affairs and Services.
Dr. Shea is the founding editor of the Canadian Journal of Career Development, with more than 2,800 subscribers from around the world. His current research project is a five-year study of career integrated and work integrated learning in post-secondary organizations.
Dr. Shea was involved in all planning meetings in late 2003 and early 2004 including taking part in the Governance/Nominating Committee that laid the foundation for launching the Canadian Education and Research Institute for Counselling (CERIC). He was CERIC’s President from 2004 to 2009. He was Past President and Chair of the Nominating Committee for one year and continues to serve as a director on CERIC’s Board to this day. Dr. Shea has been a Director of the Foundation’s Board since 2009.