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September 1, 2019 to August 31, 2020

Ginette Ferguson - Chair 2019/2020
Roger Richard - Vice-Chair 2019/2020
Abram Benedict - Vice-Chair 2019/2020
Elaine Armstrong (Admin Rep.)
Sean Burns (Support Staff Rep.)
Julie Caffin
Philip Deery
Shaun Hodgins (Student Rep.)
Rob Hunter
Denis Martel
Denise Nielsen (Faculty Rep.)
Michelle Podhy
Stephen Sliwa
Trea Tuck
Glenn Vollebregt (Ex-Officio)


Ginette Ferguson

Chair 2019/2020

A graduate of St. Lawrence College in the nursing program, Ginette Ferguson now holds the position of Senior Director of the Perioperative and Critical Care Services at Cornwall Community Hospital. With 11 years of healthcare management experience and 29 years of overall healthcare experience, Ginette has an in-depth knowledge of healthcare operations both at the senior executive and operating levels.

Ginette values the important role that St. Lawrence College plays within our community, specifically the Cornwall Community Hospital, noting that the hospital relies heavily on the quality education St. Lawrence College provides its graduate nurses and practical nurses, as well as the paramedics and other ancillary graduates in preparing them for the workforce. She feels that it is to everyone’s advantage to ensure that the College remains a robust learning institution for both the community and economic sector.

Ginette is familiar with the fiduciary duties, accountability and educational expectations required of a volunteer governor and enjoys her role as a contributing member of the St. Lawrence College Board of Governors.

 Ginette Ferguson

Roger Richard

Vice-Chair 2019/2020

Roger Richard recently retired having enjoyed a 30-year career as Superintendent of Business Services & Treasurer for both the Limestone District School Board and the Lennox and Addington County Board of Education. Roger is very passionate about education and has witnessed first-hand the tremendous positive impact educational institutions can have on young people in our society. Earlier in his career, Mr. Richard served as a commissioned officer in the Canadian Armed Forces at CFB Valcartier in Quebec City.

He holds an MBA from Queen’s University and a Bachelor of Engineering (Chemical) from the Royal Military College of Canada.

He currently volunteers as a member of the Board of Directors with the School Boards’ Cooperative Inc., a not-for-profit that provides advice and guidance on workers’ compensation issues. Mr. Richard has served on a number of not-for-profit boards over the years including Chair of the OMERS Pension Board. With his extensive board experience and background in education, Roger is very much looking forward to joining the College’s Board of Governors and anticipates contributing positively to the College’s mission.

 Roger Richard

Grand Chief Abram Benedict

Vice-Chair 2019/2020

Mohawk Council of Akwesasne three-year term of office 2015-2018

Abram Benedict a lifetime resident of Kawehno:ke (Cornwall Island) and is now serving his first term as Grand Chief.  His goals for his first term as Grand Chief include providing greater accountability and transparency mechanisms, greater engagement with community through social media to encourage instant community member feedback, meaningful job creation, increased economic development, and relationship building. In position of Grand Chief Abram would like to ensure our youth have a prosperous future, such as his fifteen year-old daughter Havana.

He had previously served three terms as District Chief of Kawehno:ke. Within that capacity, he served as Portfolio Chairman for social services and housing, and was Portfolio Co-Chair for education.

Prior to Grand Chief Abram’s terms on Council, his work experience was in the private business sector and attended Algonquin College.

Abram Benedict

Elaine Armstrong (Admin Rep.)

I am proud alumna of SLC, who joined the College Leadership Team in August 2013. Many years ago, I came to SLC as a first generation, direct-entry student. After earning a 3-year diploma, my further education led to a Bachelor of Science, Bachelor of Education, Master of Education and Master of Business Administration.

As the Associate Dean, Justice Studies and Applied Arts (JSAA), I led on the strategic initiative for literacy and numeracy, and the development and supervision of college-wide online general education courses.

Currently, as Dean, Faculty of Arts, I oversee the JSAA, Business and Community Services Schools as well as the Centre for Behavioural studies and the School College Work Initiative programming. My portfolio also includes the College Program Quality Management System which, under my leadership has seen a successful College Quality Assurance Audit and 18-month report. On the provincial level, I have served for 3 years as the Eastern Regional Executive Rep for the Heads of Quality Management.

Throughout my time at SLC, I has been involved in many tri-campus and multi-disciplinary teams including: Risk and Opportunity Committee, Hello Future Advisory Committee, Strategic Plan Consultation Committee, Academic Policy Committee (Chair), Strategic Enrolment Management Committee, Downtown Campus College/City Planning Committee, and President’s Advisory College Council. My current interests include assisting the College to move forward on the Strategic Plan Multi-year Objective on Indigenous Ways of Knowing and Being.

In previous positions at both secondary, post-secondary and indigenous institutions, I carried out a variety of positions and projects including: teaching; administration; development and delivery of professional development programs; community consultation and education reclamation; international recruitment and articulations; program development and delivery—onsite, international and digital; and quality assurance and standards development.

I have enjoyed participating on the following boards and advisory committees: SLC Representative on Arts Advisory Committee, City of Kingston; Board Member, Co-Chair Quality Assurance Committee, Languages Canada; Certification Chair, TESL Ontario Executive Board; CEC Network, President’s Advisory Committee, English Language Sector Alternative Representative; Professional Development Workshop Committee member, Languages Canada; Affiliate Director for TESL Kingston, TESL Ontario; and, Dress For Success Kingston Board.


Sean Burns (Support Staff Rep.)

Sean is the Campus Technologist, ITS for the Brockville Campus at St. Lawrence College. He is an SLC Alumni, graduate of the Electronics Engineering Technician Program (K-2000) and has worked for at College since 2001 starting with the former School of Technology and Trades in Kingston before moving to the ITS department and the Brockville Campus in 2003. 

Sean is active on campus in a number of roles including worker Co-Chair of the Brockville Health and Safety Committee, two terms on Academic Council and as a member of the Brockville Social Committee.  Sean is an avid supporter of Student Life events because of the benefits they have on Student Success, he regularly participates in staff/student Intramurals, student sponsored events and supports the athletic banquets and convocation ceremonies tri-campus.

Away from SLC, Sean has been involved in a number of community organizations including two terms as a Councillor for the Township of Front of Yonge, Chair of the Mallorytown Christmas Parade Committee and a longtime volunteer with the local Jr. A Brockville Braves.

Sean looks forward to helping provide sound and insightful governance to support the continued growth and success of St. Lawrence College. Sean is excited to learn from this experience and help the college pursue its strategic plan while maintaining clear sight of its vision, mission and core institutional values. Sean is very proud of his time at SLC as both a student and an employee, and looks forward to the opportunity to continue to support our college.

 Sean Burns

Julie Caffin

Julie Caffin is a senior healthcare executive with over 22 years of experience in acute healthcare. She currently holds the position of Vice President and Chief Nursing Executive at Brockville General Hospital. Previous positions have been in both community and tertiary, academic health care organizations.

Julie has a Bachelor of Arts Degree from Carleton University, a Diploma in Nursing from Georgian College, a Bachelor of Science in Nursing, Honours Degree from York University and a Master of Health Sciences Degree from the University of Toronto. She received a certificate in Advanced System Leadership from the University of Toronto’s Rotman School of Management Executive Programs.

Julie is a member of the Board of Directors at St. Vincent de Paul in Kingston and was appointed to the St. Lawrence College Board of Governors in September 2018. She is looking forward to her participation as a Board member at the College as she has always held education close to her heart.

When not working or volunteering, Julie can be found admiring the beautiful St. Lawrence River from her home on Howe Island.

 Julie Caffin Headshot

Philip Deery

Philip Deery graduated from the University of Phoenix Arizona earning a Bachelor of Science in Business and Human Resource Management. He received a certificate in Fundamentals of Leadership and Management through Algonquin College and Lean Supervisor Elements from Value Stream Solutions Inc. Philip has been employed at 3M Canada for the past 22 years where he holds the position of Production Supervisor for Perth Scotch-Brite. 

While working as a Councillor for the City of Brockville from 2014 to 2018, Philip held the following roles: Chair of Economic Development, and Chair of Finance Administration and Operations. Philip was an active Council representative serving on the following Committees: Library, Brockville Museum, CF 86 Saber Restoration Committee, Tall Ships Festival, Aquatarium, Waterfront Adhoc, Economic Development Advisory, Cataraqui Regional Conservation Authority, and a Board member of Eastern Ontario Public Health Unit for Leeds Grenville and the Thousand Islands.

Philip has been actively involved in volunteer work throughout his life. Over the past 19 years Philip has volunteered with Big Brothers and Big Sisters of Leeds Grenville where he currently holds the role of Vice President. Philip also served as a volunteer Board Member for Brockville Gymnastics Academy for 11 years. In 2017 Philip received the "Canada 150" award for outstanding volunteer work in his community, he also received the lifetime achievement for volunteer work from 3M Canada. 

When not working and volunteering, Philip enjoys travelling and spending as much time as he can with his wife Annette and his two adult children Liam and Meara. Philip looks forward to joining the St. Lawrence College Board of Governors. 


Shaun Hodgins (Student Rep.)

Shaun Hodgins is a mature student in the Mental Wellness and Addiction program.  He is also a frequent guest lecturer on addiction issues at the college. 

Shaun graduated from the University of Waterloo (B.ES.’91) and after a decade of consulting in the environmental economic field he spent many years working in corporate Toronto as a member of the management team of a multi-national elevator company. 

In addition to being a student at this fine establishment, Shaun owns and operates the Art of Detailing, sits on the Client Advisory Committee at Leeds, Lanark and Grenville Addiction and Mental Health (LLGAMH) and works as the Brockville campus Sustainability Marketing Assistant. 

When not studying, working or volunteering you’ll find him down by the St. Lawrence playing beach volleyball.


Rob Hunter

Rob was raised in Brockville and is a graduate of St. Lawrence College Brockville in Business Administration - Marketing. He is also a graduate of the University of Waterloo’s Economic Development Program. He’s worked in Economic Development for the last seventeen years and is currently the Economic Development Officer for the Municipality of South Dundas. Prior to this he spent time with the Township of North Dundas, the Ontario Business Improvement Area Association and Downtown Brockville BIA.

Rob was the 2014 Ontario East Economic Development Commission ‘Economic Developer of the Year’. He holds three professional accreditation designations; Certified Municipal Manager ‘CMM’, Canadian Certified Economic Developer with Fellowship ‘Ec.D (F)’ and International Certified Economic Developer ‘CEcD’.

Rob values the important role that St. Lawrence College plays in Eastern Ontario especially when it comes to preparing students for joining the workforce. In his role as an Economic Developer he sees the needs of employers for workers in various positions across the Trades, Health Care and Hi-Tech fields. 

Denis Martel

Denis Martel lives in Cornwall with his wife Micheline. Born and raised in the city, he attended École Secondaire La Citadelle where he later taught from 1986 to 2011. Upon graduating from the University of Ottawa (B.Phys.Ed. ’79; B.Ed. ’80), Denis started his teaching career in Brampton. After retiring form education, he achieved the status of a fully accredited court interpreter (French/English) and worked in the Ontario court system from 2012 to 2014.  

Now fully retired, Denis spends more time with his grand-children and has increased his involvement in the community, something he feels we should all attempt to do: "There can be no greater gift than that of giving one's time and energy to help others without expecting anything in return" Nelson Mandela. It is with that optic that he has gotten involved with St-Lawrence College, an institution that, he feels, is essential to the well-being of our communities, our province and our country. Further, he has recently been appointed to the "Friends of the Summerstown Trails" board of directors, a local organization that promotes an active lifestyle in the Stormont-Dundas-Glengarry area. In his spare time, Denis is presently learning Spanish.

Micheline and Denis are passionate about traveling in order to pursue their favorite activities of hiking, cycling and skiing. They have visited all provinces and territories in Canada (save Nunavut which is on the short list of future destinations) as well as many other countries to further pursue this goal and to enrich themselves with the knowledge of other cultures. They also enjoy canoeing and kayaking and can often be seen paddling the waters of the St-Lawrence River.


Denise Nielsen (Faculty Rep.)

Denise Nielsen is a full-time professor at St. Lawrence College, proud to be living and working in Cornwall, Ontario, teaching a variety of courses in Communications, Critical Thinking, Ethics, and Literature. Denise’s background is in writing and editing. In her early career Denise was a naval officer and worked in naval control, training, and ultimately as a technical policy editor for the Department of National Defense. Since leaving the navy, she has worked as both a newspaper editor and a book editor, as well as a member of a corporate innovation and marketing team before starting to teach at the college in 2010.

As a professor, Denise’s mission is to help students develop the communication, research, digital literacy, and critical thinking skills they will need to succeed both academically and professionally, and to do so using a classroom approach that integrates inquiry, applied learning, and reflection. In addition to teaching, Denise is actively involved in other college initiatives. She is a member of the President’s Advisory College Council, was an early adopter of hybrid learning, and has contributed to Professional Development in Cornwall and tri-campus (at the Learning Connections conference). In addition, her keen interest in curriculum development and design led to her becoming a member of the SCTL Program Mapping team in Fall 2016. This past year, Denise was also involved in a cross-Canada collaborative research project to explore the current state of the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning (SoTL) in Canada’s colleges and identify ways in which the state of SoTL in Canada’s colleges might differ from that in Canada’s universities.

 Denise Nielsen

Michelle Podhy

Michelle Podhy, a Chartered Professional Accountant, is recently retired (2016) and was formerly the Office Managing Partner of KPMG Kingston, where she was an audit partner for the past 20 years.  She completed a six year term with KPMG Canada’s Board of Directors.  Michelle was with KPMG for 35 years since her graduation from Queen’s University with a Bachelor of Commerce (Honours) degree.

Michelle has extensive experience in auditing public sector and not-for-profit organizations. This experience involves all aspects of audit planning, control and reporting, including liaison with audit committees, councils and boards of directors for large public sector clients in higher education, health care, municipal, foundations and other not-for-profits. Michelle was the client engagement partner for St. Lawrence College for 5 years up to the year ending March 31, 2013.

She has always lived in the Kingston area and has many years of experience working as a volunteer for many not-for-profit organizations.  She currently serves on boards for Providence Care, Museum of Health Care at Kingston, Anna & Edward C. Churchill Foundation and The Ballytobin Foundation.


Stephen Sliwa

Stephen Sliwa is an accomplished educator with more than 30 years of service in Ontario schools. He is currently the Director of Education and Chief Executive Officer of the Upper Canada District School Board in Brockville (Ontario).  The Upper Canada District School Board serves 27,000 students throughout Eastern Ontario with an operating budget of $374M to support 81 schools and 12 adult education centres.

Prior to his appointment to the Upper Canada District School Board as its CEO, Stephen served for twelve years as a senior executive in the K-to-12 Education sector in Ottawa and Renfrew County.  With specific responsibility to generate value and make a difference in operational and / or financial performance, he led portfolios such as Program Supervision (School Effectiveness Framework), School Operations, IT, and Special Education.

As a senior executive, Stephen was also responsible for leading a shift within the existing instructional culture in K-to-12 schools to incorporate a renewed focus on Indigenous Education. Key to this work was promoting a collaborative approach for classroom teaching and learning, involving partnerships with Indigenous communities, local schools, and the Ministry of Education. He brings insights and reflections from these experiences forward when mentoring future teachers in his role as an adjunct professor with the Faculty of Education, at Queen’s University.

A life-long learner, Stephen holds graduate degrees in Curriculum Design and Program Assessment, as well as Public Administration from Queen’s University. He has also completed the Rotman School of Business “Leadership & Strategic Impact Program”, and has received leadership training from the Ivey School of Business through its “Director’s Institute”.  

 Stephen Sliwa Board of Governors

Trea Tuck

Trea Tuck is a partner of the law firm of Henderson Eastwood Tuck in Brockville, Ontario.  Her practice areas include Corporate Law, Wills and Estates, and Residential and Commercial Real Estate.  Prior to becoming a lawyer, she was a registered nurse practicing in the areas of critical and intensive care. 

After graduating from the nursing program at St. Lawrence College’s Cornwall Campus in 1990, she emigrated to the United States.  While in the U.S., Trea attended the University of Texas, graduating with a Bachelor of Science in Nursing, Summa Cum Laude, in 2000.  Looking for a new challenge after 15 years of nursing, Trea attended law school and was admitted to the State Bar of Texas in 2005.  She moved to Tokyo, Japan, that same year.  During her time in Tokyo, she earned a Master of Laws degree from Temple University’s Japan Campus and worked as an Associate for a large Japanese law firm practicing international corporate law.  Several life changing events prompted Trea to return to Canada in 2010, making Brockville her home.

Trea is dedicated to her community and has a passion for self-betterment and education.  When she is not practicing law or volunteering her time, Trea can be found at the gym, riding her horse Manatonna, doing yoga, enjoying time with friends, and travelling.

 Headshot of Trea Tuck, Board of Governors

Glenn Vollebregt

President and CEO

Appointed President and CEO of St. Lawrence College on January 2, 2013, Glenn Vollebregt is committed to SLC’s mission of student success, academic excellence and leadership in our communities. He is passionate about student success and providing opportunities for higher education.

Glenn brings a broad and diverse range of senior leadership from the private sector, municipal government and higher education.  He holds a Master of Science in Public Policy and Management from the University of London, UK, a Certified Management Accountant (CMA), (CPA) designation from the Society of Management Accountants of Ontario and is a proud College graduate with a Business Accounting Diploma form Georgian College.

Glenn believes in health and wellness, is a passionate tennis player, runner and cyclist and practices yoga.  An avid reader, Glenn ensures that he finds quality time to spend with his family one of his most important priorities.

 Headshot of Glenn Vollebregt, President and CEO of St. Lawrence College