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Board of Directors Biographies
ReForest London's Board of Directors is a hard-working group of volunteers committed to the goals of ReForest London and its long-term viability in the community.
Robert Anderson, Director
Robert Anderson is a lifelong Londoner and a Financial Planner with an academic background in Marketing & Finance. He completed his Canadian Securities Course in 2014 before starting his financial planning practice with Freedom 55 Financial a division of London Life Insurance Company. He is also the Co-Founder and Board, President at the London Institute for Public Policy.
Rob enjoys volunteering his time on the board of Neighbourhood Watch London, the Marketing Committee & Board of ReForest London, and the Government Affairs Committee at the London Chamber of Commerce. Outside of work and the community Rob can be found on the golf course or sailing in the summer and in the winters skiing or traveling.
Katie den Bok, Treasurer
Katie is a Chartered Accountant who works as a Senior Manager in the Audit practice of KPMG LLP’s London office. Katie has over eight years of public auditing, accounting and reporting experience and has been involved with the audit of not-for-profit and public sector organizations, and a number of local private company clients. Katie also holds a Bachelor of Business Administration from Simon Fraser University.
Katie and her husband recently moved to London from BC, where she grew up. Katie also volunteers with the London Health Sciences Foundation, and holds the role of Sustainability Champion in her office, helping to increase engagement and encourage community involvement of those around her.
Vanessa Dolishny, Marketing Committee Chair
Vanessa is the Manager of Communications and Donor Relations at London Community Foundation. Especially enthusiastic about communications in the non-profit sector, Vanessa loves creating communication strategies that have a positive impact on the community.
Vanessa holds an Honours Bachelor of Arts in Sociology and Psychology, a Master’s degree in Sociology, and a Post Degree Diploma in Public Relations from Western University. Working at the Foundation has proven to be the perfect fit for her combining her passion for social change and flair for communications.
Vanessa moved to London from her hometown, Oshawa to attend Western University in 2005. After falling in love with the forest city, she hasn’t looked back. She believes trees are one of the many things that make this city so special. Trees have the ability to bring people together from all walks of life; they truly have the ability to catalyze community.
Steve Hemphill, Vice-Chair
Steve Hemphill is a veteran of the Canadian full-service brokerage industry having entered the field in 1977 upon his graduation from the Ivey Business School at the University of Western Ontario. He has extensive retail management experience at both the branch and the executive office levels at ScotiaMcLeod, a major Canadian investment firm. Steve also spent six years as co-founder of a consulting and coaching practice that focused on highly successful Canadian retail advisors and their teams.
Steve has recently relocated to his home town of London where he manages the ScotiaMcLeod branch office there. His passions are distance running, music and basketball.
Arthur Lierman, Director
Art Lierman is a landscape architect and principal of the firm Arthur Lierman Landscape Architecture in London. Possessing a Bachelor of Arts in Urban Geography from Western University and a Bachelor of Landscape Architecture from the University of Toronto, Art has been practising landscape design throughout southwestern Ontario for over 15 years. He has also taught part-time at Fanshawe College in the Landscape Design Progamme.
As an avid Londoner with a keen interest in urban design issues, Art has been involved with several local public space projects including neighbourhood urban realm enhancements, park improvements, street tree planting strategies, and pedestrian and bicycle connection initiatives. He participated in both a volunteer and a consultant capacity with the London Downtown Business Association in revitalization efforts of the city’s core. His passion for ballpark architecture lead him to become a member of Friends of Labatt Park and a volunteer in the development of the Canadian Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum in St. Marys and his current role as a member of its site committee. Art and his wife, Nicole St. John, live in the Riverforks neighbourhood where they enjoy urban living and building community spirit and pride.
Linda Lustins, Director
Linda is a professional group facilitator, working primarily with community groups to guide the development of their strategic plans, build more effective teams and organizational structures, and work productively through difficult conversations. She has a long history of working and volunteering in the community, first in Calgary and then in London.
For eleven years she also held a position in community relations with a national corporate donor, stewarding the selection and maintenance of corporate gifts in various sectors of the community across Canada. It was through that role that she was introduced to ReForest London and, as she worked with the organization, her confidence in its efforts grew. When she left her corporate role she decided to continue her personal support of ReForest London by joining its board of directors.
John Nolan, Director
John Nolan has a Bachelor of Commerce at the Telfer School of Management at the University of Ottawa. After spending some time abroad, he returned to his home city of London where he has worked in the non-profit sector for the past 8 years. He continues to take courses at Western -- he recently completed the Graduate Diploma in Ethics, and is currently working towards the Project Management Professional Certification. He and his wife Karen, a teacher, are passionate about volunteering and John has done committee work with organizations such as the Big Brothers / Big Sisters of London and the United Way of London and Middlesex.
Frank Pyka, Million Tree Challenge Co-Chair
An accountant by training, Frank Pyka has over 30 years of experience finance and systems in the for-profit and not-for-profit sectors with a particular focus on Foundations and endowment fund management. He has volunteered in a number of capacities over the years leading to an interest in good governance practices in the not-for-profit sector.
Frank is a life-long resident of the Forest City and can’t believe his good fortune to be part of a team working to make London an even more attractive place to live, work and play. When not planting trees, Frank can be found at home being mocked by his family or on a squash court being mocked by his opponent. He has been planting more trees lately.
Mitchell Schurmans, Chair
As Vice President for Oak Trust Company, Mitch is one of the original founders. With an entire working career spent in the financial industry Mitch has undertaken many different roles and responsibilities. At Oak Trust, Mitch draws on these many years of experience in these different roles to meet the many unique needs of his clients assisting them with their wealth accumulation, preservation and transitioning strategies.
Mitch graduated from the University of Western Ontario in 1980 with a B.A. and B.Ed. He has completed his Canadian Securities Course through the Canadian Securities Institute and acquired his certificate of Financial Counseling through the Institute of Canadian Bankers. As a member of the Society of Trust and Estate Practitioners he maintains his Registered Trust and Estate Practitioner status.
Mitch has volunteered for many charitable organizations serving as Chapter Secretary for the Canada Trust Friends of the Environment Foundation, Southwestern Ontario Chapter. He has also served as a member of the Audit Committee for the London Community Foundation and as an original Ambassador in their Engage London program. Now with ReForest London, Mitch sits as a board director.
Mitch has lived in London most of his life with his wife Karn and three children.
Veronica Stoiber, Director
Veronica Stoiber currently holds the position of Director, Donor Relations & Stewardship at Western University. Prior to that, she spent over seven years at United Way London & Middlesex as Associate
Director, Major Gifts, where she has also served as Associate Director of Individual Giving and Manager, Special Events.
In addition to United Way, her work experience includes multiple international outreach roles with the Universidad de las Americas in Puebla, Mexico; Teaching Spanish at the University of Regensburg, Germany and even a year as a Fellowship Ambassador with Walt Disney World in Orlando. Veronica has a BA in Mass Communications from the Universidad de la Americas and a diploma in International Competence from the University of Regensburg in Germany.
Linda Visser, Secretary
Linda Visser is a lawyer at Siskinds LLP. Her practice area is focused on class actions, including price-fixing conspiracy class actions and product liability. Linda practiced in Toronto for two years at a large national firm before returning to London. Linda obtained her LL.B in 2005 from the University of Western Ontario where she graduated with distinction. She completed one semester at The Australian National University in Canberra, Australia. Prior to attending law school, Linda obtained her Honours Business Administration (H.B.A.), with a Minor in Psychology, from Wilfrid Laurier University, where she graduated with honours. Linda is a former director of the London International Children's Festival. Linda is an avid runner and enjoys traveling.