Board of Directors

Jake Francis
Jake Francis - Compliance Coordinator, Carrier Truck Centres

Jake Francis – Compliance Coordinator, Carrier Truck Centres


Jake has been with Carrier for 22 years. As an advocate for the industry, Jake is active on multiple boards and advisory committees including this one, and the following:

– Past President of the TMTA Waterloo Region

– Vice Chair of the Truck Coach OCOT advisory board

– Chair of the Truck and Coach Program Advisory Committee Conestoga College

– Member of the executive for the Fleet Safety Council Central Ontario Chapter

– Member on the board of directors for Work Force Planning Board Grand Erie

– Chair of the Truck and Coach Program Advisory Committee Conestoga College

In his various roles, Jake finds time to mentor not only his peers but students and apprentices coming into the industry. As a holder of 310J 310S 310T, Jake shows that you never stop learning.

Colleen Vandaele

Colleen Vandale,Workforce Planning Board of Grand ErieColleen began her career with Kelly Services as a Recruiter  and quickly moved into an Industrial Staffing Specialist role. She credits her recruiting experience and her college diploma in business with helping her to become successful in her current role – Direct Hire Consultant.

With 16 years of experience, Colleen has filled positions such as Millwright, Electrician, Maintenance Manager, Controller, Intermediate Accountant, Production Supervisor, and Quality Manager.   Colleen still finds that being a staffing specialist is very rewarding and satisfying.

Nicole Donovan

Nicole Donovan, Chair, ,Workforce Planning Board of Grand Erie


  • CHRL
  • Occupational Health and Safety Certificate
  • SQF Practitioner


  • Brant Human Resources Network
  • Workforce Planning Board of Grand Erie


  • Dutch
Richard Vanner
Richard Vanner - IT

Richard Vanner – IT

Richard Vanner is an Information Technology (I.T.) professional that has spent over 25 years working in the automotive parts manufacturing sector. Starting as a programmer, he progressed to programmer analyst and then to I.T. Management. As you can imagine he has experienced quite a variety of technological change in the work environment, but he still enjoys it to this day.

He and his family have been fortunate to call Brantford home since 1992.

Richard joined the board in 2013.

David Cash

Michael Waithe,,Workforce Planning Board of Grand ErieMichael Waithe

Patrick Draper
Patrick Draper - Economic Prosperity Advocate I Leadership Coach

Patrick Draper – Economic Prosperity Advocate I Leadership Coach

I have been fortunate to have held leadership roles in government as a City Manager/CAO, Deputy Minister of Economic Development and President of a Regional Economic Development Agency. The first twenty years were in the consumer products industry at the executive level.

My skills have been recognized for developing long term visions, building partnerships in multi stakeholder environments and creating innovative economic development strategies. I obtained certification as an Executive Coach from the Certified Coaches Federation.


Graham Carroll

Graham, Carroll, Workforce Planning Board of Grand Erie







Fred SebringFred Sebring, Workforce Planning Board of Grand Erie

 United Steelworkers Local 8782 Trades Training Coordinator

CREDENTIALS: OSSHGD, Fanshawe College Welder/Fitter, Technical Standards and Safety Authority Welding Certification, Red Seal Welder Trade Code 456A, Training in Conflict Resolution, Grievance Handling and Collective Bargaining, former Canadian Auto Workers Zone representative- Electromotive London, Member of the Hamilton Skilled Trades Apprenticeship Consortium, Trustee of Local 8782 United Steelworkers, Member of the Workforce Planning Board of Grand Erie.

Fred has enjoyed a diverse working career with experiences from Ontario Hydro, King Equipment Manufacturing, General Motors-Electromotive and Stelco.

In his time off, Fred enjoys spending time in his shop with restoration projects and projects for others that land there from time to time.

Fred and his wife feel they have been fortunate to raise 3 children (now adults) in a country setting. Their daughter is a teacher. Their youngest son works in Ontario and their eldest son has pursued employment in Alberta for the last 6 years.


Roxanne Bond, Secretary/Treasurer Workforce Planning Board of Grand Erie

Roxanne Bond – Coordinator Labour Programs, Coordinator Programs and Services, Brant United Way, Board Secretary

Educators / Trainer Directors
Stephen Speers
Stephen Speers  - School of Trades and Apprenticeship, Co-Chair

Stephen Speers  – School of Trades and Apprenticeship, Co-Chair

Stephen Speers is a Chair in the School of Trades and Apprenticeship at Conestoga College, and responsible for a number of Post-Secondary and Apprenticeship programs. Conestoga College is one of the largest comprehensive deliverers of Apprenticeship training in the province.

A graduate of Paris District High School, Stephen holds a Master of Education from OISE – University of Toronto, and also studied Social Development Studies and History at the University of Waterloo.

Prior to joining the college Stephen worked in Apprenticeship for the Ministry of Training, Colleges and Universities. Roles for MTCU included a provincial project Lead, management of several Area Offices, and several years as an Apprenticeship Training Consultant. Prior to his apprenticeship roles Stephen spent 18 years at the W. Ross Macdonald School as a Residence Counsellor and Supervisor. Stephen’s other interests have included Elk farming, motorcycle touring, freshwater boating, and most recently of course his 5 grandchildren!


Equity Groups
Azra Chaudrey
Azra Hameed Chaudhry - Community Connections Program Coordinator

Azra Hameed Chaudhry – Community Connections Program Coordinator










Paul McNaughton
Paul McNaughton - GREAT

Paul McNaughton – GREAT

Original portfolio included counselling and administration of the company’s Self-Employment Assistance program.

Paul is now responsible for providing current information on labour market activity within our region. Also instrumental in establishing the first Labour Force Survey on a First Nations, sovereign territory which is not serviced by Statistics Canada.

  • Jill Halyk – Executive Director
  • Kelly Duck – Executive Assistant
  • Sylvia Hentz – Communications/Project Coordinator
  • Mark Skeffington – Communications/Project Manager
  • Jose Rodriguez – Vacant
  • Kedar Patel – Project Coordinator – Connect2SKILLS
  • Sophie Auger – Project Coordinator – Connect2SKILLS
  • Pedja Perisic – Administrative Assistant – Connect2SKILLS