Board of Directors

The Board of Directors provides strategic leadership setting long-term vision and values for the organization. They direct and control the organization through careful deliberation and establishment of policies. They direct the Executive Director and Executive Leadership Team (ELT) to achieve results of inclusive seamless child and family-centered services that demonstrate a commitment to the pursuit of excellence, creativity, and innovation.

Board of Directors 2017-2018

Julie Dénommé - Chair

Kimberley Gagan - Vice Chair

Deb Sullivan - Secretary

Michael Gauthier

Ryan Minor

Christine Catt

Laura Sylvestre

Ryan Benoit

Samantha Wallenius

 Julie Dénommé - Chair



 Julie Dénommé is the manager of Leadership and Learning at Health Sciences North where she is responsible to develop and implement a system approach to leadership development.  As founder of Lasting Leadership, Julie is committed to helping leaders and leadership teams develop their full potential.

Relentlessly forward-looking coach/facilitator/trainer and leader, Julie is known for inspiring those she works with to stretch beyond the known and comfortable to realize results that serve the highest needs of individuals, organizations and communities.  Julie's hands-on change leadership provides real-world appreciation for what it takes to orchestrate, manoeuver and seize significant change for both individuals and organizations.

Julie has worked in both the profit and non-profit sector which provides her an integrated view of the possibilities when it comes to creating results, influencing change and having an impact.

Julie is a bilingual professional who is currently completing her Masters in Leadership.  She is a graduate of Royal Road University Certified in Executive Coaching. Julie also holds a B.S.W from Laurentian University.


Kimberley Gagan - Vice Chair


Kimberley Gagan is a graduate of the University of Western Ontario and received her Bachelor of Laws degree in 1995 from Queen's University. She was an Assistant Crown Attorney in Thunder Bay Ontario, from 2000 to 2014.  In October of 2014, she accepted the position of Founding Director of Lakehead University Community Legal Services where she created and implemented a student legal aid clinic at the Faculty of Law.  As a parent of three children on the Autism Spectrum, she has developed a keen interest in supporting others with similar disabilities.



Deb Sullivan - Secretary


Deb SullivanDeb has over 30 years of experience in the not for profit sector working with and advocating for children and adults with various mental health and developmental challenges. Her extensive management and labour relations experience led her to her current role as Manager with Human Resources for Laurentian University. Among other duties, she provides training, employee relations and coaching support. Her dedication to service, compassion and desire to see others achieve success, are key drivers to her focus and approach.

Deb is a bilingual professional who graduated from the 'Enfance exceptionnelle' program at Cambrian College and the Bachelors of Arts degree with a double major in Psychology and Sociology from Laurentian University. She is also a certified Life and Executive Coach.


Michael Gauthier


Michael is a lawyer in practice in Sudbury, practicing in the areas of personal injury law, representing clients and their families, many of which have sustained life-altering injuries. He also practices corporate law, representing large to small businesses on matters such as the purchase and sale of companies, corporate re-organizations, employment matters and various other aspects of business law.

Michael is the proud father of a child with autism, now enrolled in the school-system. He has been actively engaged in continued education regarding autism, and is currently also involved with Autism Ontario.



 Ryan Minor


Ryan MinorRyan Minor is a self-employed Chartered Professional Accountant (CPA).

Ryan has taught corporate tax at Laurentian University and is presently completing an LLM in Tax Law through Osgoode Hall Law School. Prior to joining CCR, Ryan was on the board of the Learning Disabilities Association of Sudbury (LDAS) as well as the Canadian Mental Health Association. Ryan is married with two children : ages 3 and 6.




Christine Catt


Christine CattChristine Catt is a communications professional, born and raised in Greater Sudbury, with a background in broadcast journalism, public relations, and marketing. She has worked at Persona 10 News and Science North, and is currently the Director of University Advancement for Huntington University where she leads marketing/advertising initiatives, event planning and the development of effective communication strategies to advance the university.


On a personal level it was her family's autism journey which inspired Christine to volunteer her time in order to improve services for children and families in Greater Sudbury and Northern Ontario. She is proud to join the CCR Board of Directors, and also serves as a member of the NEO Kids Foundation fundraising committee.  


Laura Sylvestre


Laura Sylvestre

Laura is a passionate advocate who has worked alongside parents and educators to benefit students in the Lakehead Public School Board for several years. In this capacity she has promoted evidence-based policies to help develop individual strategies with students' successes--in all areas--as the primary objective. She also serves on the Success Advisory Committee for the Lakehead Public School Board, and is the chair of their Special Education Advisory Committee and Parental Involvement Committee.


In the past, Laura has been active with the Thunder Bay and District chapter of Autism Ontario. There she served as chapter vice-president and later chapter president, leading the organization and working to promote awareness in the community. Being the mother of three children with autism spectrum disorder has served as the catalyst to help children of all different abilities.


Ryan Benoit


RRyan Benoityan Benoit, 24 years old, is the Owner of The Positive Inception, a local clothing brand. Ryan was born with Cerebral Palsy, however, this hasn't stopped him from achieving what he wants in life. Ryan considers himself to be very fortunate to have had the opportunity to study at Laurentian University and graduate from the Sport Administration program in 2015. After graduating from Laurentian, he chose to further his education and enrolled himself in the Human Resources Post Diploma Program at Cambrian College.

Ryan began the Positive Inception in 2013 with the idea to inspire people and help them gain positive perceptions. Since then, the brand has grown significantly and he has expanded to a retail location on LaSalle Blvd. in late August  He was also a recipient for this year's 40 under 40 Awards.



Samantha Wallenius


Dr. Samantha Wallenius is a Psychiatrist who operates an inpatient and outpatient practice at the Sault Area Hospital.  She obtained her Doctor of Medicine (MD) degree from the University of Toronto Faculty of Medicine and subsequently completed a 5-year residency program in Psychiatry from the University of Toronto, as well.  Dr. Wallenius has an interest in developmental and Autism Spectrum disorders, and has also established a Dual Diagnosis clinic in Sault Ste. Marie.  This program facilitates the diagnosis and treatment of individuals who may have both developmental and mental health concerns.  She regularly provides consultative and collaborative educational sessions for staff members at the Canadian Mental Health Association and Algoma Public Health.

Outside of her professional responsibilities, Dr. Wallenius and her husband are kept busy with their two young sons.