“We are fortunate to have a talented group of individuals on our board who are dedicated to the success of DASC. Our board members come from all walks of life and we bring different skill sets to the table, but I think one thing we have in common is our belief in the importance of the work of DASC for the well being of the clients.”
– Ronan Holland, Chair
DASC’s Executive Director
Cathy has spent the last 20 years as Executive Director of DASC and the previous 16 years in various executive management positions in the sector. She is President of the DIRECTIONS Council of NS and President of the Social Enterprise Network of NS. Originally from Inverness Cape Breton and a family of 11; she graduated from Mount Saint Vincent University with a Bachelor of Child Studies. Cathy has been described as ‘visionary and a true leader’ by her contemporaries.
Ronan Holland is a lawyer and mediator with the Dartmouth law firm, Weldon McInnis. He is currently chair of the board of DASC. He has worked on a number of projects at board level including advising on the confidentiality and informed consent procedures and in informal dispute resolution within the organization. He is keenly involved with the board and management and is involved as a trustee of Holy Cross Historical Trust and other historical and cultural organizations in Halifax.
Dr. Deborah Norris
Dr. Deborah Norris, is an Associate Professor within the Department of Family Studies and Gerontology at Mount Saint Vincent University (MSVU). Dr. Norris teaches undergraduate and graduate Family Studies courses. Her research program focuses on military families and the health and social service needs of persons with intellectual/developmental disabilities. With funding received through the Nova Scotia Health Research Foundation (NSHRF) and the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR), Dr. Norris has investigated age-related transitions of older parents caring for adult sons/daughters with life-long disabilities, exemplary practices of employers hiring and retaining employees with intellectual/developmental disabilities, and policy and program development.
Bob joined Clearwater in 1987 as Controller, Canadian Operations. Bob was appointed Vice President, Finance in 1990 and CFO in 2002, a position he held until his retirement in 2016. Bob was responsible for all finance, treasury, financial reporting and accounting, administration and controllership functions. Bob holds a Bachelor of Commerce from Memorial University.
Heather brings a multidisciplinary approach to her work having worked in training, facilitation and program development for organizations such as Junior Achievement, YMCA, and Scouts Canada. During the course of her career, she has partnered with corporate organizations, governments, non-profit organizations, and small businesses. Heather’s deeply rooted passion for leadership, her work ethic, and her desire to help others comes from growing up in an entrepreneurial family in rural Nova Scotia. As a youth herself, Heather participated in Music and Theatre programs that have shaped who she is today.
Heather is the Executive Director for the MacPhee Centre for Creative Learning. She has a Recreation Management degree from Acadia University and recently graduated from the Executive MBA program at Saint Mary’s University.
Heather is also an active volunteer with Scotiabank Blue Nose Marathon, DASC – Dartmouth Adult Services Centre, and the Halifax Music Co-op. Her love for life-long learning reflects a determination to help youth and communities succeed.
Members at Large
Norman is a retired professional engineer who joined the Board in June 2014 after having served on the DASC “Building Committee”. The bulk of Mr. Andrews’s career was in engineering design with Nova Scotia Power and various engineering consulting companies. Mr. Andrews also holds an MBA from Saint Mary’s University and previously served on the Board of Directors of the Alzheimer’s Society of Nova Scotia. Norman’s brother Bruce Andrews was a longtime client of DASC.
Jeff grew up in Bedford NS and attended business school at Dalhousie University, obtaining a Bachelor of Management degree and an MBA. Upon graduation, Jeff moved to Toronto to work for CIBC where he met his wife Diana. In 2006, Jeff and Diana moved back to Bedford where they live with their two daughters. Jeff continues to work with CIBC Commercial Banking where he is responsible for a team of account managers serving business clients in HRM. Jeff joined the board of DASC in 2015 and strongly believe in the role DASC plays in the health of the community.
Susan is a graduate of Dalhousie University with a BSc in Physiotherapy. She works in private practice focusing on adults with neurological and developmental issues. She is a guest lecturer at Dalhousie University and the NS Community College. She sits on several community Boards, including being a Board member at DASC for the past 17 years. Susan enjoys working with community agencies in the goal of enhancing opportunities for persons with intellectual and physical disabilities. She believes that everyone should have the opportunity to take part in meaningful activities in their own communities and that we all have a role in making this happen. In order to keep a work/life balance, Susan enjoys running, paddling, biking and anything else that keeps her moving.
George has been a board member since 1989; initially appointed by the Halifax / Dartmouth school boards and for the past ten years chair of the Admissions and Program Committee. Holding Degrees from Concordia and Memorial University in Psychology and Education with specialities in Social Studies and Special Education. George has taught Psychology at Memorial University and special children at the Newfoundland Department of Education School At Pine Grove and at APSEA in Halifax. He is now retired.
George has held other board positions as Vice President of the Association of teachers of Exceptional children (ATEC) and on the board of the Epilepsy Association of Nova Scotia.
Jim has been working in the field of disability with both adults and children for 40 years and has been an appointed member on DASC’s board for 24 years. Holding a Master’s of Science in Psychology, Jim is Director of Resident Services at the Regional Residential Services Society (RRSS). Jim has also taught part-time at NSCC as well as at the university level.
When he is not at work, Jim loves to spend time with his friends, family and his family dog, travelling and experiencing new things.
Andrew is the Leasing Manager Atlantic Region with Creit Management L.P., Andrew is a senior leader with over 30 years’ experience in the telecommunications and commercial real estate market. A lifelong volunteer and advocate for persons with disability he has served on numerous boards such as NS Association for Community Living, Neptune Theatre, Abilities Foundation, committee member and chair YMCA Gala, Feed Nova Scotia Gala, Finance & Admin lead Canada Winter Games to name just a few.
Especially dear to him is his daughter Danielle who is a participant in DASC program’s and he chaired a New Year’s Day fundraiser Dip for Dee. He has two other children Haley and Jack and lives in Halifax with his wife Dawn.
Faith is a graduate from Dalhousie University where she obtained a Bachelor of Science with a focus in marine biology. Before retiring in 2015, Faith worked with Fisheries and Oceans Canada (DFO) for over 34 years and, for the 9 years prior to her retirement, was the Regional Director-General for the Maritimes Region of DFO where she played a leadership role in change management, consultation, negotiation and in managing the human and financial management resources of a large scientific research and operational organization.
Faith has been a volunteer with Special Olympics Dartmouth for several years and is the mother of DASC client, Victoria.
Sarah is a Registered Psychologist. She received her BSc. in Psychology and Biology from Dalhousie University in 2000, as well as her M.A. in School Psychology from Mount Saint Vincent University in 2003. Sarah currently works as a Psychologist in private practice at True North Psychological Services in Halifax. She works with individuals of all ages who experience challenges with cognitive development, attention (ADHD), and learning (LD).
It’s not difficult to identify Sarah’s career motivations. She is a sibling of DASC employee Matthew McNeill and daughter of past board member, Norman McNeill.