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Meet the Team: Meet the Team
Meet Our Volunteers
Dariel Bateman is a recent arrival to Stratford. She is retired but always curious. Her background is in elementary education where she worked as a teacher, principal and director of staff development. In the voluntary sector she has been active in emergency housing, theatre, social services and immigrant support. She currently sits on the Social Planning Council and is advocacy chair for CFUW.
Nancy Burnett was involved with refugee settlement while working for the federal government. She was involved in program development for newcomers when she worked with the provincial government. She has belonged to two sponsorship groups and helped with government programs as well as employment coaching
Ron Dodson was a Coordinator for the Avon Maitland District School Board (AMDSB), and is a skilled community organizer. Since retiring from education, he worked to bring the World Festival of Children’s Theatre to Stratford. He is currently Co-chair of the Stratford Arts and Culture Collective, which is working on converting Copperlight (Knox Church) into a performance space. Ron was a member of one sponsorship group.
Kristin Fox is a caseworker with Ontario Works for the City of Stratford. She is the leader of one of the sponsorship groups. She previously worked for the Kitchener-Waterloo Multicultural Centre in several settlement related roles, and has experience as an immigration legal clerk for two immigration lawyers.
Wendy McNaughton is a retired drama teacher and another formidable community organizer. Since retiring she has worked on many community projects such as Springworks, The World Festival of Children’s Theatre, Stratford Runners and Walkers, Canadian Federation of University Women (CFUW),… She was a member of one of the sponsorship groups with many responsibilities.
Anisa Mnyusiwalla is a doctor. Her parents came to Canada as refugees from Uganda. She has belonged to four of the sponsorship groups, supporting them with all medical concerns.
Felicity Sutcliffe has been heavily involved with five of the Stratford sponsorship groups. She is a former teacher, early childhood educator and ESL instructor. Her work in Malawi led to her passion for refugee advocacy. She also worked for Family Services Perth-Huron and managed the Stratford Early Years Centre.
Kathy Vassilakos has been a driving force with Stratford Welcomes Refugees. She coordinated the community response to the Syrian crisis, built the partnership with MCCO, and supported all the sponsorship groups as needed. Kathy is a former Stratford City Councillor.
Geoff Williams was the Director of Education for the AMDSB. He has volunteered with many non-profit groups in Stratford (Stratford Public Library, United Way, Stratford Arts and Culture Collective and The Local). Since retiring, Geoff has worked with First Nations organizations as well as a non-profit in Tanzania. He was a member of two of the sponsorship groups and was treasurer for one of them.
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