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Our Mission

To improve lives and build community by engaging individuals and mobilizing collective action.

Our District

United Way Centraide North East Ontario services the districts of Sudbury, Nipissing, Parry Sound, Manitoulin, Cochrane, and Timiskaming.

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Our History

For over three decades, UWCNEO has been working locally to improve lives and create opportunities that help build brighter futures.

We believe that for our community to truly thrive, we need to look beyond single issues and temporary fixes. By working in partnership with our community; business, labour, social services, we identify needs and invest in targeted programs that help change lives.

Our Leadership - Board of Directors

Executive Committee

  • Patrick Brouzes, President

    Patrick was born and raised in Sudbury. For over 20 years, he's worked in the financial services industry, the last seven as a financial planner with Bank of Montreal. Patrick is currently an investment advisor with BMO Nesbitt Burns, is a Fellow to the Canadian Securities Institute, and a Certified Financial Planner professional. Patrick enjoys giving back in his community. In addition to his volunteer work with United Way, he is a board member with the Health Sciences North Foundation.

  • Tina Vincent-Gagnon, Vice President

    Tina Vincent-Gagnon has worked at Vale for over 16 years as an operator and is a proud, active member of United Steelworkers Local 6500. She’s been involved with the USW Women's Committee, Health and Safety, and is a union representative for the Human Rights/Harassment department. Tina has also worked with the Young Worker Awareness Program in high schools across Northeast Ontario and is the representative for USW in their annual United Way workplace campaign.

  • Debbie St. Germain, Vice President Labour

    Debbie began her career with the Canada Revenue Agency (Revenue Canada) and served as a Public Servant for 23 years. She is an honorary member of the Union of Taxation Employees, Local 00042 where she grew her passion to defend worker rights. Debbie represented workers on Health and Safety and, then following her first strike experience in 1991, became active in her local union and has been ever since. Debbie is a committed advocate for people at work, at home and in our communities. She’s held local, regional and national positions within the Public Service Alliance of Canada until she began working there in 2009. As a Northeastern Ontario Regional Representative for PSAC, she supports and represents federal and provincial Public Servants and workers in sectors of policing, health care, and other family services. Debbie has been on the executive council of Sudbury and District Labour Council, and was elected as the council’s first female President in 2018. Debbie is actively volunteering to equity issues, political actions, and other happenings for people in our northern communities.

  • Paul Gomirato, Past President

    Paul Gomirato established PG Creative in 1987. He oversees the standards of excellence in creative development and production; account management and client relations; as well as new media services, development and integration. From 1987 – 2007, Paul developed and delivered courses in Graphic Design, Advertising Design and New Media as a part-time Professor at Cambrian College. Paul is active in his community having served on many Boards including UWCNEO, Sudbury Community Foundation, Rotary of Sudbury Sunrisers, The Northern Artist Guild, and Chair of the Visual Arts Advisory Committee and Cambrian College. Paul has been a proud volunteer with United Way for 30 years.


  • Réjean Amyotte, Director

    Réjean is married, a father to three adult daughters, and a lifelong resident of North Bay. Fluent in French, Réjean studied accounting and business at Nipissing University and has been an involved union and community activist for over 10 years. Réjean is the current Vice President of the North Bay and District Labour Council and is employed at the Public Service Alliance of Canada as a Regional Representative in the Sudbury Regional office. He is a long-standing volunteer with United Way serving on the Citizen’s Advisory Council and as a Labour Representative on the Board of Directors.

  • Gary Aubut, Director

    Gary started working with the City of Greater Sudbury in April 1998. Within a few years, he was actively involved with Health & Safety for the Inside Unit, later becoming Chair for the committee. In 2005, Gary became a Union Steward for the Inside Unit. He is passionate about his work and about helping members. Gary is currently Chief Steward for the Inside and both the Inside and Outside Rep. for WSIB. In addition to being a board member for United Way, Gary sits on the SDLC and SDCC.

  • Valerie Barbe, Director

    Valerie Barbe joined United Way’s Board of Directors as a Labour Representative in May 2018. Bringing 30 years of experience in supporting individuals with developmental disabilities, Valerie is passionate about helping others by offering a “hand-up,” not a “handout.” Valerie is a proud CUPE member of Local 2599 and sits on their Executive as the Chief Steward and a Return to Work Advocate. Valerie is dedicated to building stronger communities and helping to create permanent, positive change for those struggling in poverty. Valerie is also a delegate for the Sudbury District Labour Council and the Vice President of the Sudbury Provincial NDP Riding Association.

  • Doug Conroy, Director

    Doug Conroy is the Manager, Human Resources, for Glencore’s Sudbury Integrated Nickel Operations. With more than 30 years of mining experience in Ontario and South America, including over 10 years of experience in senior management roles, Doug currently leads the Human Resource functions for Sudbury Operations including Indigenous Engagement, Labour Relations, Occupational Health, Organizational Development, Compensation and Benefit, Communications and Public Affairs. Doug holds a Master of Business Administration from Laurentian University, and a Bachelor of Science in Geology from Lake Superior State University, Sault Ste. Marie, MI. Doug is active in his community and is involved in several working groups with Wahnapitae First Nation, Sagamok Anishnawbek, Atikameksheng Anishnawbek, and the Métis Nations of Ontario.

  • Amanda Dyer, Director

    Amanda is the Program Director for Rogers Radio in Timmins, responsible for content, talent development, and community outreach for KiSS 99.3 and 92.1 ROCK. She made a move to Northern Ontario from Nova Scotia 12 years ago and credits volunteering with helping her make Timmins a home. She has been an active board member for organizations including the Downtown Timmins Business Improvement Association, Timmins Learning Centre, YMCA, and now the United Way. In her spare time, Amanda loves to travel and explore new places off the tourist path.

  • Dr. Paula F. Gouveia, Director

    Dr. Paula F. Gouveia, joined Cambrian College in the role of Vice-President, Academic in August 2019. Prior to joining Cambrian, she held progressive academic positions at Seneca College and most recently Humber College, where she served as Dean of the School of Liberal Arts and Sciences since 2009. During her time at Humber, she supported various community partnerships and organizations including Big Brothers Big Sisters, Toronto, the Toronto Region Immigrant Employment Council, and the United Way.

    Fluent in four languages, Dr. Gouveia completed her PhD in French literature at the University of Toronto in 2013 and TESL Canada Certification in 2014 which allows her to more effectively support the needs of diverse learners. Having recently relocated to Sudbury, she is eager to learn more about our community and help to make a difference.

  • Jasmit Klara, Director

    Jasmit moved from India to Vancouver to study engineering. After completing his undergrad, he moved to Sudbury in 2017 to work at Hatch as a Mechanical Engineer. Outside work, he likes to get involved in the local community. In addition to United Way’s board, Jasmit sits on the board of Young Professionals Association of Sudbury to help the local youth who are just starting out their careers. He also likes to experience different cultures and has travelled to Brazil, Peru, Singapore, Thailand, and Japan. Next on the list: Eastern Europe.

  • Dr. Rayudu Koka, Director

    Dr. Koka is an accomplished Consultant Psychiatrist who has practiced in Sudbury since 1986. He is Medical Director for the Mental Health & Addictions Program, Health Sciences North (HSN) and Professor of Psychiatry with Northern Ontario School of Medicine (NOSM). Dr. Koka has also served as Section Chair Psychiatry for NOSM. Currently, he is with Ontario Medical Association (OMA) as OMA Council Delegate for District 9 and OMA Section of Psychiatry Executive Member. Dr. Koka has many years of experience with Boards and Committees, including the HSN Board, the Multicultural Folk Arts Association of Sudbury, United Way, the Greater Sudbury Police Services, Laurentian University, and the India-Canada Association (ICA) of Sudbury. He has also sat on multiple mental health committees at the local, regional, and provincial level.

  • Nastassia McNair, Director

    United Way Centraide North East Ontario is pleased to welcome Nastassia to our Board.

  • Barb Nott, Director

    United Way Centraide North East Ontario is pleased to welcome Barb to our Board.

  • Sebastian Shushan, Director

    Sebastian Shushan learned the importance of community at a young age. His professional experience includes working for the Ministry of Community and Social Services/Children and Youth Services, and various departments at Laurentian University including Accessibility Services, Treasury, and Human Resources. Sebastian is an avid and dedicated volunteer for multiple organizations around Sudbury and is inspired by people who help bring peace to those who need it.

  • Wayde Smith, Director

    United Way Centraide North East Ontario is pleased to welcome Wayde to our Board.

  • Marisa Talarico, Director

    Marisa joined the City of Greater Sudbury in 2016 as the City’s first Active Transportation Coordinator, responsible for leading the effort to make Greater Sudbury’s streets safer and more accessible for residents who walk or ride a bike to meet their daily travel needs. Marissa is passionate about connecting ideas and people, building up her local community and exploring new places with a strong coffee in hand.

  • Chris Vuorensyrja, Director

    Chris was born and raised in Sudbury where he resides with his wife Meagan and son Liam. He holds an Honours Bachelor of Arts in History from Laurentian University as well as a Human Resources Graduate Certificate from Cambrian College. Chris is a Certified Human Resources Leader (CHRL), has acted as a Human Resources Consultant, Human Resources Generalist and now holds the position of Professor of Human Resources at his Alma Mater, Cambrian College. Chris first became involved with United Way as a participant in the Young Leaders on Board program. Chris credits the program to opening his eyes to the work that United Way does leading to his involvement as a Leadership Development Trainer and eventually, a United Way Board Member.

Our Team

  • Shelley Lachapelle

    Interim Executive Director

    Phone: 705.560.3330 ext 208

  • Katherine Cockburn

    Development Manager

    Phone: 705.560.3330 ext 218

  • Anthony Crozzoli

    Human Services Directory Coordinator

    Phone: 705.560.3330 ext. 217

  • Sarah Dost (Leave)

    Community Mobilization & Engagement Manager

    Phone: 705.560.3330 ext 216

  • Linda Dupuis

    Governance & Partnership Manager

    Phone: 705.560.3330 ext 222

  • Jennifer Gorman

    Regional Manager

    Phone: 705.531.7233 ext 305

  • Charlene Legacy

    Director of Labour & Community Services

    Phone: 705.560.3330 ext 223

  • Adam Seiling

    Energy Advisor

    Phone: 705.560.3330 ext. 203

  • Sarah Simard


    Phone: 705.560.3330 ext 211

  • Kelly Sinclair

    Strategic Engagement Manager (Leave)

    Phone: 705.560.3330 ext 206

Campaign Cabinet

Campaign Cabinet

From left to right:

Sam Guillemette (Investors Group), Mike Ladyk (3rd Line Studio), Linda Boyd (United Steelworkers Local 2020), University), Jessica Penteris (Rogers Digital Media), Campaign Chair, Karen Hourtovenko (LifeZone Inc and High Rise Group), Scott McCulloch (Cambrian Ford), Jay Baxter-Derro (Black Rock North Media), Mike Penwarden (TD Canada Trust), Sheena Alexander (MLA Law: Moutsatsos Lkkaso Alexander LLP), Craig Gifford (Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry)

Message from Mike Penwarden - 2019/20 Campaign Chair

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