Bruce G. Lawson

Bruce G. Lawson, President

Bruce Lawson was appointed Executive Director of The Counselling Foundation of Canada in October, 2008, and to the role of President & CEO of the Foundation in December 2013. He also holds the title of Executive Officer of the Canadian Education & Research Institute for Counselling (CERIC), and is an ex-officio member of the CERIC Board of Directors.

Over the years, Bruce has provided meeting planning, project management and communications services to a variety of corporations, associations and not-for-profit organizations. Bruce also served as the Interim Executive Director of Casey House Foundation for 18 months.

In addition to his professional life, Bruce is an active volunteer. He is a past Chair of the Board of Directors of Casey House Hospice and Casey House Foundation, and co-chaired Casey House’s largest fundraising event, Art with Heart, in 2005, 2006 and 2009. He is currently Chair of the Board of Philanthropic Foundations Canada, and serves on the board or committees of several other organizations.

Bruce has a BA (Economics) from McGill and an MBA from the Rotman School of Management at University of Toronto.

Mario R. Gravelle

Mario R. Gravelle, Director, Granting & Strategic Initiatives

Mario Gravelle joined The Counselling Foundation of Canada in early 2011 as Learning & Innovation Analyst. His responsibilities include developing and overseeing the policies, procedures and administrative mechanisms behind receiving, awarding and managing grants. Mario also coordinates the dissemination of learnings from the initiatives the Foundation supports internally and externally. His title was changed to Director, Granting & Strategic Initiatives in April, 2017 in recognition of the leadership role that he has played in working closely with our grant recipients and reconfiguring and modernizing our granting processes, and his ever-increasing role in representing the Foundation on a number of initiatives that align with our strategic plan, both internally and externally.

Prior to arriving at the Foundation, Mario was the Chronic Disease Surveillance Coordinator at the Métis Nation of Ontario. In this role he collaborated with government and university stakeholders in population-based chronic disease studies as well as research about intergenerational family gambling attitudes and childhood obesity.

Mario is currently a project advisor for the "Social Innovation, Societal Change, and Canadian Grant-Making Foundations" Partnership Development Research Program. This three-year initiative explores the social impact of private, public, and community foundations in Canada. This project is financially supported by the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada (SSHRC) and four research partners: Philanthropic Foundations Canada, Community Foundations Canada, Ontario Trillium Foundation, and the Institute of Nonprofit Studies. He was Vice-Chair of The Circle on Philanthropy and Aboriginal Peoples in Canada from 2012 to 2014. The Circle is an open network to promote giving, sharing, and philanthropy in Aboriginal communities across the country.

He has a BA (Specialization in History) from Concordia University and an MA (History) from the University of Ottawa. He is currently completing his doctoral dissertation in history at York University.

Diana Castano

Diana Castano, Executive Assistant & Office Administrator

Diana Castano joined The Counselling Foundation of Canada in 2005 on a part-time basis as Administrative Support. She assumed the position of Executive Assistant & Office Administrator in 2010.

She attended Servicio Nacional de Aprendizage (S.E.N.A.) college in her native Colombia where she graduated with a diploma in Business Administration and Bookkeeping. She subsequently worked in these roles in a law office and in her own business for over a decade.

Diana arrived in Canada in 2002 and took a related-position at Toronto Community Living (Scarborough). She currently oversees all day-to-day administrative and financial processes at the Foundation while supporting the Executive Director, Board and the Canadian Education Research Institute for Counselling (CERIC).

Rebecca Darwent

Rebecca Darwent, Community & Knowledge Catalyst

Rebecca Darwent joined The Counselling Foundation of Canada in 2015 as Community & Knowledge Catalyst. Her role includes supporting the granting process, engaging stakeholders, and sharing resources, organizational knowledge and best practices. She brings extensive experience in the non-profit sector from many years working frontline in various community organizations. Her leadership and community advocacy were formally acknowledged in 2005 when she was awarded the National Millennium Scholarship of Excellence.

Most recently, Rebecca worked as Project Manager at start-up charity Girls E-Mentorship Innovation providing program management, team leadership, and strategic planning. She also worked at YWCA Toronto in their housing support program. Prior to moving to Toronto, Rebecca worked in New York City with Amnesty International USA and the AIDS Service Centre of NYC.

Rebecca holds a Bachelor of Social Work with Distinction from McGill University.

The Counselling Foundation of Canada is proud to support CERIC and its programs: