Mark Vander Vennen MA, M. Ed, R.S.W., firstname.lastname@example.org
Mark is our Executive Director. He has been a marriage and family therapist since 1988 and came to Shalem in 2004. He has worked in child welfare (Northumberland Children’s Aid Society) and in children’s mental health (Kinark Child and Family Services). Until 2004, he served for almost 15 years as the Coordinator of what was then called Children’s Case Coordination Services for Northumberland County, an advocacy position which that involved him directly in the child welfare, children’s mental health, health, adult mental health, youth justice, developmental, medically complex, and education systems. Throughout that period he maintained a private practice in marriage and family therapy.
From 2004-2008 Mark served on the Inter-Ministerial Provincial Advisory Committee of the Office of Child and Family Service Advocacy at Queen’s Park. He is the Board Chair of Wrap Canada and Co-Chair of Wrap Canada’s Training and Technical Support Institute. He is a certified Restorative Justice Facilitator trainer. He has worked extensively with both perpetrators and victims of violence, and is the co-author of Hope in Troubled Times: A New Vision for Confronting Global Crises, Foreword by Desmond Tutu (Baker, 2007).
Mark loves camping with his family in Algonquin Park, baseball, and his environmentally friendly, waste vegetable oil-powered car.
Danielle VandenAkker, BA, email@example.com
Danielle is our Managing Director. She has been with Shalem since 2005. She graduated from Redeemer University College with a business major and missions minor. Most of Danielle’s work experience has been with non-profit organizations. Previously she worked at Mission Services of Hamilton, organizing children’s programs, and providing financial management for individuals on the Ontario Works or Ontario Disability Support Program.
Danielle provides administrative support to Shalem, and manages our print and web communications. Danielle manages the intake process for the Congregational Assistance Plan (CAP) and the Hamilton Clinic.
Danielle enjoys camping, biking and hiking with her family.
Jennifer Bowen, MDiv, RMFT, firstname.lastname@example.org
Jennifer is our Clinical Director and a registered marriage and family therapist. She brings a wide range of experience to Shalem from both Christian and wider community settings.
Jennifer has worked with clients through many concerns, including abuse, trauma, addictions, depression, grief and anxiety. Her clinical approach focuses on supporting clients through their difficulties and equipping them to address their challenges by building new stories of hope and health in their lives.
Jennifer completed her undergraduate degree at University of Toronto, studying psychology and religious studies, and completed a Master of Divinity in Marriage and Family Counselling degree at Tyndale Seminary. She balances her days with family walks and camping trips, a healthy pile of novels waiting to be read, and time spent in her garden.
Betty J.B. Brouwer, MSc, RCAT, email@example.com
Betty is our Director of the Linking Lives/Building Attachment program and the Artistic Director of Shalem’s RE-create Outreach Art Studio.
A registered art therapist and a certified play therapist, Betty has worked with children, teens and their parents for over 15 years at Shalem. She is also a member of ATTACH (Association for Treatment and Training in the Attachment of Children), an international coalition of professionals and families dedicated to helping those with attachment difficulties. Betty is a certified member of the Dyadic Developmental Psychotherapy Institute.
Betty holds a Master’s degree in Child and Adolescent Studies from the University of Guelph. She also completed the Master’s-level program at the Toronto Art Therapy Institute.
June Zwier, MDiv, firstname.lastname@example.org
June is a marriage and family therapist in our Durham office and is our Director of Sunshine from Darkness.
June has worked in the mental health and social services field in the Durham region for over 25 years and has considerable experience with mental illnesses including mood disorders such as depression, bi-polar, anxiety, schizophrenia and family/caregiver support needs.
She provides counselling for individuals, couples and families following a client-centred and holistic approach that draws on her training in family systems, solution-focused, cognitive behavioural and narrative methods/tools. June also provides Shalem’s Linking Lives/Building Attachment services in the Durham area.
June has a B.A. in psychology and a Masters of Divinity degree with a focus in counselling. She loves to read and travel, and takes great pleasure in playing with her grandson and grandaughter and fishing with her husband – he does the fishing she gets to read.
Marg Smit-Vandezande, MSW, RSW, email@example.com
Marg is the Director of our Congregational Assistance Plan (CAP) and the Clergy Care program.
For most of her career in social work, Marg has worked within the Family Services Ontario network, both as a family therapist and as a Clinical Program Manager with the Family Counselling Centre of Brant. She is experienced in the delivery and development of Employee Assistance Plans (EAP), a type of counselling program widely offered by companies to their employees as a health care benefit. Shalem’s CAP program is modelled on the EAP.
Marg has a Bachelor of Social Work degree from the University of Western Ontario and a Master of Social Work degree from the University of Calgary. In her free time, she enjoys travelling and canoeing with her husband, as well as gardening, knitting, connecting with extended family, and participating in volunteer activities with her church and neighbourhood.
Anne Martin, firstname.lastname@example.org
Anne is the Director of Restorative Practices. Anne holds a M.A. in Religion and Culture and a Ph.D. in Religious Studies. She is trained in Restorative Practices and a founding member of the FaithCARE steering team, an ecumenical organization supported by Shalem that offers a restorative response to conflict and a process to become restorative congregations.
Anne’s work experience includes volunteer coordinator with the Canadian Centre for Victims of Torture, lecturer in Religious Studies and Women’s Studies, and program coordinator in the areas of small group ministry and spiritual formation for the United Church of Canada. Anne is a skilled small group facilitator and workshop leader. She is the author of Rooted in the Divine: Nurturing Our Faith Through Small Group Ministry, Toronto, United Church, 2004 and Exploring Faith Questions: Journeys of Faith and Spirituality, Toronto, United Church, 2004. Anne has two terrific children. She loves to travel, write, and learn about just about anything.
Elske de Visch Eybergen, email@example.com
Elske de Visch Eybergen is our Director of WrapAround Services and has worked in Social Services for over 30 years. Elske is an experienced WrapAround facilitator and, as the former Coordinator of WrapAround York, successfully helped to pioneer the use of the WrapAround program by churches.
She began her career in Young Offender services and has served in managerial positions within Child Welfare (foster care), developmental services and adult mental health. She has also worked as a Child Advocate at the Office of Child and Family Service Advocacy at Queen’s Park. Elske has been the Co-chair of the Board of Directors, North York Women’s Centre and has facilitated within the Levels Program (Separated and Divorced Network), Hamilton Catholic Diocese.
Elske is a graduate of Mohawk College’s Social Services program and the Ontario Management Development Program.
Andrew Debicki, MSW, firstname.lastname@example.org
Andrew is our WrapAround Development Director. He is a leading figure in the development of the program in Canada, supporting WrapAround initiatives across the country, as well as in Europe and the U.S.
Andrew also consults with the Aboriginal Healing and Outreach Program operated by the Hamilton Native Women’s Centre, a program that blends traditional healing practices with WrapAround. Andrew served for over 30 years as a supervisor with Lynwood Hall Child and Family Centre, a children’s mental health centre in Hamilton.
Andrew walks what he talks. He and his wife adopted four young children with special needs. Partly due to the strength-based approach of WrapAround, all have matured into beautiful adults. Andrew is passionate about WrapAround and the impact it has with families who have complex needs.
Michelle DeBoer, BA, Grad. Dipl., email@example.com
Michelle is an art therapist who has worked with clients of all ages and needs. Prior to joining Shalem, she worked with children with behavioural difficulties in the school setting, elderly persons in the end stages of dementia, and adults recovering from brain injury and lengthy hospitalization.
At Shalem Michelle has worked with children and families with issues of addiction, divorce and separation, those experiencing grief, anger issues, and children with behavioural difficulties at home and school. Michelle enjoys working alongside parents and families of these children throughout the therapy process and includes them in the art-making experience.
Michelle completed her undergraduate studies at Calvin College in Grand Rapids, MI. with a Bachelor of Arts degree with majors in psychology and criminal justice. She completed her graduate studies at the Toronto Art Therapy Institute.
Gord Hope, PhD, firstname.lastname@example.org
Gord provides individual psychotherapy and couples counselling at Shalem, and will be heading up our eCounselling services. Gord is currently on medical leave.
Gord obtained his PhD in Social Psychology from Carleton University and followed it up with post-doctoral studies in Clinical Psychology at the University of Ottawa, specializing in experiential psychotherapy. He ran a private psychology practice in Ottawa before taking on a management position with the CNIB, and has also worked in program development with the Canadian Council of the Blind. He is a member of the Ontario Association of Consultants, Counsellors, Psychometrists and Psychotherapists, and of the Peer Resources Network – an international organization providing training and resources for Peer Mentors and Coaches. He has also been trained and certified by Human Synergistics Canada to provide a range of organizational development and improvement services and activities.
Gord is the father of three remarkable daughters, whom he has coached through many years of playing softball, and whom he has followed into amateur theatre. He is also an active member of his church, and enjoys playing piano and tandem bicycling.
Susan Winter Fledderus MA, M. Ed, R.S.W., email@example.com
Susan has more than 15 years of experience in the field of marriage and family therapy, and worked for 13 years as a family counsellor at Family Services Durham prior to joining Shalem in 2011. Susan has extensive experience in working with individuals, couples and families. She offers support to those who are dealing with a variety of presenting issues, including abuse, anxiety, depression, domestic violence, grief, family transitions and conflict, and trauma.
She completed her undergraduate degree at Redeemer University College and a master’s degree in counselling psychology at McGill University. She has additional training in couple and family therapy, and is both a registered marriage and family therapist (RMFT) as well as an approved supervisor with the American and Ontario associations of marriage and family therapy (AAMFT and OAMFT). Susan is also a registered social worker with the Ontario College of Social Worker and Social Service Workers (OCSWSSW). She teaches occasional workshops in Solution-focused couple and family therapy through the University of Toronto Continuing Education program.
Susan also loves reading, photography, and playing games with her family.
Elisabeth Di Francesco, BA, firstname.lastname@example.org
Elisabeth is our Intake and Administrative Support staff person. She graduated from York University with a major in Geography and, after a few years of travel and mission work, began administrative employment. At Shalem she provides administrative support to various programs, including the intake process for the Hamilton clinic and Congregational Assistance Program (CAP). Prior to coming to Shalem, Elisabeth was the Assistant to the Vice-President (Academic) at Redeemer University College.
Elisabeth still enjoys international travel and mission work, alongside her husband and children, but more regularly indulges in family games of UNO and Monopoly.
Andrew Hawkins, BA, email@example.com
Andrew is the coordinator of our Chatham-Kent Wraparound program. His background is in church ministry where he was a pastor for 26 years. Andrew’s first ministry experience was that of pioneering a mission church in Hamilton. He is excited to be working once again with at risk and vulnerable families because of Wraparound’s long track record of success.
In 2008 Andrew authored Whispers that Delight: Building a Listening-Centered Prayer Life, a book that won a Canadian Christian Writer’s Award. Andrew has been happily married to Sue for 35 years. They have three beautiful married daughters. Andrew now enjoys ‘hammering’ his four grandsons i.e. tackling and throwing them into the couch. His two granddaughters are not yet old enough to have been initiated into this tradition.
Andrew loves to garden and anything to do with techie toys.
Meghan Hers, firstname.lastname@example.org
Meghan is the Studio Coordinator for REcreate Outreach Art Studio. Meghan’s studies were at OCAD University in Art Criticism and Curatorial practice, as well as the University of British Columbia. Meghan coordinates REcreate’s open studio time.
Meghan has a passion for social justice and the issues surrounding urban poverty, and she is striving to learn how the arts can facilitate healing and restoration.
Adam Burgess is REcreate Outreach Art Studio’s Studio Assistant. Adam is working with and mentoring other young people during studio time. Adam began as a participant at REcreate. Adam found that RE-Create is a place to spend an hour to draw a little bit, sketch, piece something together, or just sit there and talk about issues you’re having, or your day-to-day life. Adam has done projects using scrap pieces of wood, miscellaneous objects, photo projects.