|Executive Director||Elisabeth Graham||107|
|Forest Discovery Director||Lisa Staton||108|
|Facility Services||Rita Maier||110|
|Financial Services||Diane Taylor||109|
|Wood Shop||Bob Moody||104|
|All Abilities Educator||Alex Thatcher||103|
|Day Program||Judy Bartlett||114|
|Wildlife Educator||Kyra Moratz||106|
Board of Directors
Dan Bouwman (Founder)
After immigrating to Canada from the Netherlands in 1966, Dan founded Dan’s Produce in Niagara Falls. From humble beginnings, this wholesale business has grown into a major supplier of fresh produce to many hotels, restaurants and grocery stores in the Niagara Region. Dan is the visionary behind Heartland Forest, which embodies his latest efforts to give back to his community.
Doug Kane (Past Chair)
Doug is recently retired from the Niagara Parks Commission as the Police Chief with over thirty years of career commitment. He has an active interest in Special Olympics and sits on the Board of Directors for Niagara Region’s Brain Injury Community Re-Entry. Doug thoroughly enjoys the outdoor lifestyle and he and his son Adam contribute countless hours to facility and property maintenance at Heartland Forest.
Sabrina Roth (Chair)
Sabrina is an Audit & Assurance Resource Manager at Deloitte LLP. She enjoys a very active lifestyle and also has a passion for culinary exploration which Heartland benefits from regularly. Sabrina is committed to excellence and brings a wealth of community experience and new ideas to the board as well as public relations, communications, administration and organizational expertise. She strongly believes that people joining together can make our community a better place to live. We are grateful for the countless hours Sabrina volunteers at Heartland Forest – her innovation and leadership skills are appreciated.
Ed Nieuwesteeg (Vice Chair)
Ed was born and raised in Niagara Falls. He graduated with an honours degree in Business and Political Science from Wilfred Laurier University. After his marriage to Ruth-Ann Patterson, he returned to school attending Humber College and graduated in 1991 as a Licensed Funeral Director. Ed has been an active community volunteer for many years with the Jaycees, the Big Brother Association, Board Director for Community Living and Board Chair for YMCA for over ten years. Ed is a five-term elected trustee for Niagara Catholic District School Board
Jacqueline Burciul (Treasurer)
Jacqueline is our founder Dan Bouwman’s oldest daughter. You can’t go for a stroll through Heartland Forest without seeing remembrances for Sydney Burciul who passed away on October 28, 2009 at the age of 12 from Lissencephaly, a rare brain birth defect. Sydney was the beloved daughter of Ken and Jacqueline and sister to Taylor and Avery. We are thankful for this family’s commitment to Heartland and for the many volunteer hours and in-kind donations that are made on behalf of the family. With a wealth of personal experience and a passion for all abilities, Jacqueline is the perfect family representative to sit on the board of directors.
Sue Forcier holds the position of Vice-President of Communications, Marketing and Public Affairs and is the Chief Conservation Officer for Niagara Peninsula Energy Inc. She is also a Board Director and Chair of Marketing for the Niagara Winter Festival of Lights and is a trustee with the Grand Council of the Order Sons of Italy – Canada. She is formerly a Mentor with the Canadian Public Relations Society Student Program and a former board member and Fundraising Chair with Project Share Food Bank. With her vast educational and work experience, Sue brings extensive knowledge in communications, marketing and conservation to the Heartland team.
Steve is a Niagara native with over 30 years’ experience in the Social Services Sector. Steve was the initial Director of Project SHARE and since then has had employment in a variety of positions with the Ministry of Community and Social Services (ODSP Income Maintenance Officer) and Niagara Region (Ontario Works Case manager and Job Developer). Currently he is the Accessibility Advisory Coordinator at Niagara Region. Steve is a supporter of Heartland Forest’s activities and freely shares his skills in Non-profit Organizations, Coaching, Universal Design, Government, and Program Evaluation.
Chris is the Manager of Technology Integration for Niagara EMS where his primary role is to take advanced knowledge of EMS and determine what innovative technologies can be applied to improve operations. Prior to this, Chris obtained his B.Sc. in Biology with a minor in Anthropology from Trent University with a focus on entomology (insects). Chris continued his studies and received his Masters in Animal Science from the University of British Columbia, focusing on avian (bird) studies; specifically, waterfowl behaviour and ecologys. When not at work, Chris loves to travel, hike and photograph landscapes and wildlife; usually with his wife, Anne, and two dogs in tow.
In 1981, Tim joined the Niagara Regional Police Auxiliary, as a stepping stone, to a career as a full-time officer. On January 15th 1984, he was involved in a life altering motor vehicle collision, while on duty as an Auxiliary officer, which left him with several injuries, most serious being spinal cord injury resulting in him being an incomplete paraplegic. In 1985, he was hired by Niagara Regional Police as a dispatcher. He retired from the dispatch position in 2018, after 33 years. Tim is a former member of Niagara Falls Optimist Club, former Coach with Niagara Falls Girls Softball, Honoured Member of the Rick Hansen Man in Motion Tour. Currently Tim volunteers in Heartland’s wood shop and at community events. He is an avid photographer.
Emily was born and raised in the Niagara Region, completing her Bachelor’s Degree in Public Health and Master’s Degree in Business Administration at Brock University. Emily has considerable experience working with Niagara’s youth in her previous roles as a program instructor for the City of St. Catharines and St. Thomas Daycare, young adult peer leader at Niagara Region, and health educator at Heart Niagara. Emily’s most recent work experience has been in marketing and information technology at Niagara Casinos. Emily has held various volunteer roles in our community including; emergency department volunteer at Niagara Health, Treasurer at Celebrate Old Downtown, and volunteering in various initiatives at Heart Niagara. Through her community involvement, Emily is committed to improving the social determinants of health through education, programming and accessible spaces for all.
Janie has participated with numerous community organizations, including the Chamber of Commerce (past Chair of Board of Directors), Niagara Community Foundation, Boys & Girls Club of Niagara Falls, and FACS. She has been honoured by the Rotary Club of Niagara Falls with the Paul Harris Award and is a recipient of the Queen’s Jubilee Medal. Since the early 2000s she has run her own marketing company, J. P. Market & Event Planning and has been the Chair of the Board of Directors for the Niagara Falls Hydro. Janie joined the event team at Heartland Forest in 2018 and is a valued volunteer.
Joe has been Chair of the Ontario Bar Association Solo Small Firm General Practice Committee and was a member of the OBA task Force on changes to the Human Rights Code. Prior to opening his own practice, he was a regular sessional lecturer in Human Resource law at Brock University and business at Niagara College. He was the Honourary Solicitor for the St.Catharines - Thorold Chamber of Commerce and is a past Honourary Solicitor for the Greater Niagara Chamber of Commerce.
Brian has been involved with Heartland Forest for more than a decade as a community member, founding Board member and disability consultant. He is the president of Sterling Frazer Associates, a minority owned consulting business that has been in operation for 26 years. Brian was involved in developing the AODA Customer Service Standard on behalf of the province. His expertise in disability issues is sought by businesses, universities and government agencies throughout North America, Europe and Asia. As the sole owner of the company he acknowledges that he is both a person with a disability and from Indigenous heritage. Brian is active and well connected in both communities and we are grateful for his expertise.
Darren is a Chartered Professional Accountant with many years of experience in public practice, specializing in taxation. He has taught at Niagara College in the Business Program for Continuing Education as well as at the School of Accountancy at York University.
Larry is the Executive Director of the Professional Hockey Player’s Association. He was drafted to the Montreal Canadians in 1978 and traded to the Toronto Maple Leafs in 1984. Larry was recently named by Hockey News as one of the top 100 “People in Power” in the hockey world.
Rob joined the tree house volunteer crew back in 2005 and he and his extended family have been valued volunteers at Heartland ever since. Rob is an industrial mechanic and specializes in heavy equipment repairs – although he can repair just about anything! For seventeen years he and his family owned Drummond Home Hardware and Heartland regularly benefited from their generous community spirit. Rob is a fixture here at Heartland and our ‘go to’ person if we need maintenance, equipment or facility support.
Born and raised in Niagara, Mark joined the City of Niagara Falls in 2008 as a Community Development Coordinator where he managed the environmental public outreach portfolio, working closely with the City’s environmental liaison committee. In 2011, Mark moved into Cemetery Services and was promoted to Manager of Cemetery Services. Mark has continued to blend his passion for the environment and community through participation in environmental initiatives and community driven projects including the development of Willow’s Rest, the Niagara Region’s first large Green Burial Section that includes a Bee Sanctuary.