Abbeyfield is an international non-profit society dedicated to providing seniors with affordable, companionable and safe housing in a family-sized household within their local community.
Community sponsored and supported, Abbeyfield Houses are set up and run on a not-for-profit basis under the management of a volunteer board of directors. Costs, which include meals, are shared by residents. A proven concept begun in England more than 50 years ago, there are now more than 1,100 Abbeyfield Houses worldwide, and 30 houses currently operating in Canada with more in development.
The Abbeyfield Caledon House is located in a peaceful, residential area in the village of Caledon East, just north of Toronto. The House offers an independent, affordable living alternative in a warm family style environment. The House provides residents with a balance between privacy, companionship, safety and independence.
President of the Board
Gord is a graduate of Western University and is an experienced association and non-profit agency executive leading major professional, trade and health care organizations. For the past 17 years he has led CANES Community Care as its CEO. CANES provides 12 programs and services to over 4500 seniors in the west end of the GTA and his key responsibilities include government relations, strategic planning and implementation, business development and stakeholder relations.
A life-long learner, Gord has completed executive programs at the Ivey Business School, Western University and Harvard Business School. He has received numerous awards including the Bhayana Foundation Leadership Award presented by the United Way of Greater Toronto.
His commitment to volunteerism includes serving as Past President of the Canadian Society of Association Executives – Trillium Chapter, Member of the Policy Committee, Ontario Community Support Association (OCSA) and volunteer Treasurer of Caledon Hydro.
Gord and his wife Judith have lived in Caledon for over 35 years and raised two sons and a daughter in the area. Gord now follows Judith to carry on their family commitment to Abbeyfield Caledon as she served on the original Building Committee and then on the Board of Directors for over nine years. He looks forward to serving on the Board of Directors with the goal to enhance the services available to the residents so that they can continue to live independently.
Vice-president of the Board
Carol, EMBA of Western University, grew up on a farm in the Bolton area. She spent most of her working career in sales and marketing positions within the pharmaceutical industry. Her ties to the area are very strong and working with seniors is a passion.
Post retirement, Carol bought two Downsizing Diva franchises. The focus was on helping seniors when the time came to downsize from the family home to smaller accommodation, usually a senior’s residence.
She found the experience of guiding seniors in the decision making process and helping them with the many challenges presented by relocation extremely rewarding. She was always moved by the joy on the faces of her clients when they first walked into their newly set up suite, ready to start their new life.
Selling the franchises a few years ago, gave her the opportunity to tend to the property and home she and her husband enjoy but also found her with some extra time on her hands. By joining the Abbeyfield Board, Carol is able to use her prior experience helping to provide an environment for seniors which offers companionship, healthy meals and security.
Jennifer Oteng is a Registered Nurse with over 17 years of experience in nursing. She obtained a Master’s degree in Clinical Nursing and a specialization in Aging from the University of Toronto. She also received her Gerontological nursing certification through the Canadian Nurses Association (CNCA) and completed the McMaster University, Nurse Continence Advisor (NCA) certification.
Jennifer has experience in long-term care, general medicine to complex continuing care and legal nurse consulting. She also has several years of teaching experiencing in the nursing programs at the college level.
She is currently working as a geriatric outreach nurse at a community hospital in Ontario. Jennifer has a deep passion for seniors care and continues to take related courses.
Jennifer looks forward to contributing to the Board of Directors and by provide clinical guidance and resource support.
Past President of the Board
Joe holds a bachelor’s degree in Arts (pre-medical science) from the University of Ottawa and a Master degree in Social Work from the Wilfred Laurier University. After many years in senior leadership positions in public service in Ontario, Joe has continued his passion for innovative community development and capacity building.
Since leaving the public service, he has led the Ontario Community Support Association as CEO, been Chair of the Halton Peel District Health Council, and was the founding Chair of the Central West Local Health Integration Network (LHIN) from 2005 to 2011. Joe currently works part-time as a senior consultant with a firm which focuses on board governance, planning, integration and leadership. Joe has been a resident of Caledon East for over 25 years and he and Brenda are the proud parents of six children and now seven grandchildren.
Monica possesses a Bachelor of Arts degree from York University; Bachelor of Education degree from Ontario Teacher Education College; and, a post-graduate diploma in Human Resources Management and Labour Relations from the University of Toronto. She recently retired from the position of Director, Human Resources with PPG Canada Inc. and PPG Architectural Coatings Canada Inc. where she had worked thirty-four years. During her working career, Monica had the opportunity to work both in the US and the UK.
During her working life, she had been participated in a number of volunteer activities involving the leadership development of women; mentoring young high school women; mentoring Human Resources professionals through the Ontario Human Resources Association; participating in the US Junior Achievement Program; and, teaching English as a Second Language with the Caledon Community Services.
Monica has resided in Caledon for over twenty-eight years of which the last nine have been in Caledon East. She has one step-daughter who lives in the city of Toronto with her husband and two young children and she also has two grandchildren residing in the UK. Monica looks forward to actively contributing to the Board of Directors and supporting a positive and comfortable environment for the residents at Abbeyfield.
Chris Blackmere graduated McMaster University with a degree in literature and philosophy in 2000. Since then, he has operated a bookkeeping and accounting practice in the Caledon area.
As an accountant specializing in small, family-owned businesses, he has extensive experience in financial problem solving. Chris, his wife Beth and their two sons have lived to Caledon East since 2008.