Mission:To match children and youth, who will benefit, with mentors who will help them build confidence and self-esteem.
Board members are volunteer, who reside in our service community and who share the vision and goals of our programs. Our staff are paid employees who administer the office tasks and monitor the programs and activities of our clients and volunteers.
Melanie Craig is the owner of Craig McDonald Reddon Insurance Brokers Ltd. in Hanover. As a former teacher and in-school Mentor with the former BBBS program, Melanie, understands the need for good positive mentors in our community and serves on our Board to help ensure children in need receive the support we provide.
Greg Dow is our Consulting Director. Greg worked in the camping industry for 24 years, with a focus on adventure programming and served 13 years as the Director for a local Agency-based camp. Greg has a degree in Youth work and Counselling and has completed a 10-month outdoor leadership program. He has a passion for working with kids and youth; impacting them positively and helping them to develop their self esteem. Greg Serves on the board of the local YFC youth Drop in Centre and on the RISE Committee supporting a Syrian refugee family. He is both an artist and musician as well as an avid outdoor enthusiast . He loves to bike, hike, canoe and camp. He is married and has 2 children.
Jen Heerema is the owner of The Giddy Goblin board game store in Hanover. She graduated from Waterloo University with a degree in Mechanical Engineering and had almost completed her Cabinetmaking Certificate at Fanshawe College when they moved from London in 2008. She previous volunteered with BBBS as a Big Sister and an in-school Mentor. She is currently also on the Hanover Downtown Improvement Area Board and the Refugee Integration and Support Effort Board.
Jen is married with 3 kids. She enjoys singing in the praise team at Hanover Missionary Church, dancing hip hop at Grey Bruce School of Dance, playing board games, woodworking, math tutoring, and reading.”
Sara LaBlance graduated from Ireland's IT Sligo with a degree in Business Marketing, Sara was eager to return to Grey and Bruce County, where she was born and raised. During her time as a student, Sara was heavily involved with extra circulars at her college, coordinating the fundraising events of several clubs and societies.
Sara is currently employed as an Operations Analyst at Exceldor Foods. In her spare time, she enjoys paddle boarding, rollerblading and reading.
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Kaylee Pletsch has a diploma in Office Administration-Executive, from Sheridan College, as well as certificates in Managing Customer Service and Empowering Students With Disabilities in partnership with Conestoga College. Kaylee served as the first self-advocate on the Board of Directors for Community Living Hanover for five years. Kaylee was born with Spina Bifida and seeks to mentor children with disabilities. As a co-founder of Resolution Advocates she supports and promotes the rights of persons with disabilities. She also volunteers with the Hanover Community Players and the Hanover Public Library. She enjoys playing piano and singing and has been a member of Grey Bruce Singers since 2014.
Alex Barangraduated from Western University with a degree in Mechanical Engineering, where he played on the varsity wrestling and football teams. Alex worked for Union Carbide at their Eveready Battery plant in Toronto for 9 years then transferred to the Walkerton Energizer plant where he held a number of different management positions until retiring in 2011.
Alex is open- minded and has strong problem solving and decision making skills. He loves sports and played flag football, golf and curling for many years while coaching a summer swim team. He was on the building committees for both the indoor pool and the new hockey rink in Hanover. and currently sits on the Brockton Environmental Committee and the Economic Development Committee.
Ted Filsinger Lives in Hanover. He volunteered with the former Big Brothers Big Sisters of Hanover and area for about 25 years where he mentored 4 boys. His hobbies include remote control cars, and playing the pipe organ. Ted is currently employed by 2 Lutheran churches as their Organist. Ted also works at Erie Meats in Listowel.
Erin Hopkins has over ten years experience in camp programs and has provided respite care for several families in the Hanover area. She is a graduate of the University of Waterloo. She completed her Bachelors Degree in Social Development Studies and is currently pursuing a Master of Social Work Degree at Laurier. Erin enjoys swimming, running and watching movies in her spare time.
Trudy Baran is a career volunteer; starting from when she was a stay at home mom she became involved in several organizations. Currently, she is involved with CFUW Saugeen, Saugeen Toastmasters, and BGM. Her work career has included writing for the Hanover Post and owning Balloons Plus in Hanover where she became known as "the Balloon Lady". Trudy has been most passionate for children with special needs. For 25 years she has been advocating for children and their unique needs. She volunteered with BBBS as a in-school-mentor and saw first hand the importance of mentoring in a child’s life. Trudy served on the Special Education Advisory Committee for the Bluewater District School Board for 11 years (6 as Chair) representing Spina Bifida Hydrocephalus Association of Ontario. She believes that all children deserve to be treated with respect and to be given a chance to thrive.