Board of Directors

Our Board of Directors is composed of a group of dedicated volunteers. They provide an invaluable service to our association, performing a governance role, while being accountable to our membership. If you would like to learn more about the volunteer opportunities available through our Board, please contact us at: 905-985-8511


Below you can view the bios of our dedicated board members 

Clare Suggitt

Clare was raised on a farm near Sunderland with two sisters. His youngest sister had Down Syndrome and was cared for at home. He earned a B. Sc. from University of Waterloo and then a B. Ed. from Queen’s University. Clare taught for one year in Ajax, and then worked for Black’s Cameras for 3 years before re-entering the teaching profession. He taught for 30 years and was the head of the Science Department at Brock High School upon retirement. During his teaching career, Clare was an auxiliary police officer with Durham Regional Police Service rising to the rank of Staff Sergeant. After retirement, he was the chair of the School Community Council at Port Perry High School. Clare and his family have lived in Port Perry for over 25 years and he still has many connections in Brock Township. 


Len Wright

Len and his wife live in the Township of Uxbridge. Len is a stroke survivor which has given him an awareness of the need to improve accessibility for people with disabilities. He has extensive experience in the financial services sector and the farm co-operative sector and he has previously served on the boards of Peel Crime Stoppers and Habitat for Humanity-Brampton. He is active in his church and is currently Chair of the Benevolent Committee.


Denise Graham

Denise has lived in Port Perry since 2003 She and her husband were franchisees of a retail establishment for 35 years until his passing nine years ago. Denise has three sons; the youngest has resided in a local group home since 2011. Denise has served on several committees, including a Special Education Advisory Committee, and says she would be honoured to serve on the Community Living Durham North Board and help in any way that she can.


Stephen Connors

Stephen began his career as a Consultant with IG Wealth Management in 2006. His specialized practice services incorporated business owners, professionals, and retirees. He works with a team of professionals to provide world class financial planning and estate planning for his clients. Stephen has lived in Durham Region for 45+ years, and raises his family in Port Perry. Prior to becoming a Consultant, Stephen was a volunteer firefighter for 9 years. In 1990, Stephen attended the Texas A&M University. Stephen is working towards his Certified Financial Planner designation, which he will obtain by the end of 2021. Stephen participates in the Big Brothers & Big Sisters of North Durham, Durham Ride for Dad, Port Perry Hospital Foundation and he is an active member with the 100 Men of Scugog.


Brian Robert

Born and raised in Montreal, Brian moved to Ontario to attend university, where he got a B.A. (Honours) and B. Ed. From Queen’s University.  Brian taught high school for the Durham D.S.B. for 32 years, the last 27 in Uxbridge and Brock Township, including one year of contract teaching in Australia.  During his teaching career, Brian taught dozens of students living with a number of disabilities and is also a caregiver for an autistic family member.  Brian has served as a Chair of a School Community Council, as a representative on a number of teacher federation councils, a member of the Board of a curling club and a Historical Society.  Retired from his day job since 2016, Brian has maintained his interest in public education as an online Instructor for Queen’s University’s Faculty of Education.


Karen Dillon 

Karen has an MA in Social Work from York University and is the Manager of Specialty and Assessment Services at Children’s Treatment Network in Richmond Hill.  She is currently on secondment for the second time with the Ministry of Children, Community and Social Services supporting the redesign of the Ontario Autism Program.   She has worked with individuals and families of children and youth with developmental and physical disabilities for the past two decades.Karen moved to Port Perry three years ago with her husband and step-son.  

Danielle Arscott 

Danielle moved to Oshawa at the age of 12 with her family. She spent her high school years at Paul Dwyer and went on to study law enforcement at Durham College. After graduating from college, Danielle began to work as a security guard and quickly realized law enforcement was not for her.  She returned to school three years later after working as security in a hospital, the place she discovered her passion for helping those in need. Looking for a program that would prepare her for an environment where she could really help people, Danielle settled on Human Rights and Equity Studies in Toronto at York University.  Recently graduated, Danielle is excited to begin a new chapter in her career.  


Shanthini Thanabalasuriar

Shanthini has over 20 years of progressive financial leadership experience in various industries, specializing in best practices for compliance, enterprise risk management, sustainability (ESG) including litigation support, governance and internal audit, regulatory requirements, and implementation of complex business processes. Shanthini’s volunteer work includes leading audits of various non-profit organizations.  Shanthini has also held key volunteer roles with Crime Stoppers and Immigrant Women Services.  Shanthini is personally committed to the need to improve accessibility for people with disabilities, mental health challenges and community development.


Carolyn Ussher

Carolyn Ussher is a Social Worker who has spent her career working primarily in the child welfare sector and has recently moved to the education sector at the Durham District School Board where she is the Senior Manager and Clinical Lead, Social Work. Prior to this, Carolyn held various roles at the Children’s Aid Society of Toronto; most recently as the Director of North West Branch with the organization. Her volunteer work has included Board of Director roles with the Jean Tweed Centre in Toronto and a community daycare organization, as well as leading crisis and court preparation groups for children who were victims of abuse. Carolyn is committed to working with and supporting vulnerable populations in our communities.


Christine Goodwin

Christine Goodwin started her career within Disability Services eight years ago, equipped with a degree in disability studies and a diploma in developmental services. Christine has held various roles within disability services including Direct Support professional, Advocacy Advisor and Project Coordinator, Community Engagement Facilitator, and Housing First Caseworker. Christine’s volunteer experience, education and career to date have reinforced her dedication to helping support individuals with disabilities.


Rohit Hajela

Rohit Hajela has a wide range of experience working with Banks, Telecommunication and IT companies. In his current role as a Vendor Manager at TD Bank, Rohit manages the bank's relationship with large Third Party Suppliers in the Technology domain and is an advocate of Privacy, Compliance and Cyber Security. Rohit wants to help people with a disability.