WindReach Farm Board Of Directors
Joe Stokes – Chair
Wes Gill – Treasurer and Secretary
Dr. Joe Stokes
Dr. Joe Stokes is the University Registrar at Ontario Tech University. Joe’s portfolio includes the leadership of enrollment management, including admissions, recruitment, financial aid, records, client services, and university-wide student communication. Joe is the past Chair of the Ontario Universities’ Council on Admission, and is the Past President of the Ontario University Registrars’ Association, where he has led work across the post-secondary sector on retention and student success.
Joe holds a doctoral degree in education from Western University, and has been a member of the WindReach Farm board since the summer of 2017. Dr. Stokes is currently working on connecting the Farm to the broader educational community and optimizing programmatic learning outcomes and curriculum for our programs.
Wes Gill, Peng, MBA, CPA, CMA
Wes Gill joined the Board in September 2017 after retiring from a career as an Executive/Partner in a global Management Consulting firm and top-tier global Canadian Bank.
Following his graduation from the University of Guelph and York University’s Schulich School of Business, Wes continued his studies at the Stern School of Business at New York University and the graduate School of Business at Stanford University.
As a Professional Engineer and Certified Professional Accountant, throughout his career in both the private and public sectors, Wes specialized in corporate governance and oversight, financial services risk management, data analytics and technology, operations and project management and regulatory relations.
Wes brings to WindReach Farm extensive experience in the not-for-profit sector having held numerous Board of Director, Executive and volunteer positions with various national, provincial and local organizations over the years.
Wes is currently leveraging his experience as he works with the Board of Directors and staff to continue to INSPRIRE – EMPOWER – CHANGE LIVES of all those who engage WindReach Farm.
Melissa Gerrits, J.D
Melissa Gerrits, J.D., is Legal Counsel at Ontario Tech University. As a generalist with a diverse legal practice, Melissa has knowledge and expertise in commercial transactions, litigation, dispute resolution and workplace investigations, intellectual property, privacy law, human rights law, employment law, regulatory compliance and risk management. She also has experience supporting and counselling a start-up technology company in Toronto, Ontario.
Previously, Melissa was an Assistant Crown Attorney in Toronto, Ontario, prosecuting summary and indictable offences at the Ontario Court of Justice and the Superior Court of Justice.
Melissa graduated from the Faculty of Law at Queen’s University in 2012, and was called to the bar in 2013. She is a licensee of the Law Society Ontario, and a member of the Canadian Association of University Solicitors and the Association of Corporate Counsel. She teaches Business Law at Durham College and is a Director of the YWCA, Durham. She also holds a Bachelor of Business Administration from Laurier University.
Dr. Wendy Barber
Dr. Wendy Barber is an Associate Professor in the Faculty of Education at Ontario Tech University. She holds a PhD in Curriculum Teaching and Learning, with a Specialist in Teacher Development from OISE-University of Toronto. She spent her early career teaching and coaching physical education, and serving as Vice-Principal and Principal in elementary and secondary schools. Wendy is a passionate advocate for fully inclusive physical education and sport, and she has published widely through her research in this area. Dr. Barber developed a successful ongoing partnership between Ontario Tech and the Abilities Centre to increase awareness of accessibility and inclusion for pre-service teachers.
She has a life-long passion for physical education, sport, and the role that these can play in improving health and wellbeing for individuals and communities. As an elite athlete, she represented Canada for five years as an accomplished member of the Canadian National Synchronized Swimming team, which was ranked first internationally for all five years. Wendy is an avid animal lover, with four small dogs, Max, Joey, Georgia and Gracie, who keep her grounded, healthy and active. She is a committed volunteer, working in the stables and the Beyond the Farm Gate program, seeing firsthand how animals have the power to heal and connect people in meaningful ways.
Leslie Motz, RN, MBA
Leslie has been working in healthcare since 1987. She has progressed through various hospital leadership roles across the GTA. Leslie joined Lakeridge Health in January 2010 and has held the role of VP Clinical and Chief Nursing Executive since 2015. In addition to an MBA, she is a certified healthcare executive through the Canadian College of Healthcare Executives. Leslie has a passion for further developing and maturing the healthcare system and exploring how we can positively influence population health across the region.
On a personal level, Leslie is married with two adult children and a true love for her dogs and cottage life.
Jim Wilson, BEcon, BEd, MRE
Jim Wilson is a Superintendent of Education with the Durham Catholic District School Board. He is Superintendent of Faith Formation, Parent and Community Engagement, Oshawa and Scugog Family of Schools, and Continuing Education.
Jim serves on a number of committees and boards. As Co-Chair of the DCDSB Joint Health and Safety Committee, he promotes and monitors safety in all schools. Jim is an External Governor Representative on the Durham College and Ontario Tech Board of Governors.
Jim served on the Welcome Centre Governance Committee, actively supporting newcomer settlement in the Durham Region. In addition, he was a board member of the Ontario Association of Adult and Continuing Education School Board Administrators.
Jim grew up in Durham Region. He holds a Bachelor of Education from Brandon University and a Bachelor of Economics from Trent University. He has Master in Religious Education degree from the University of Ottawa. Jim also received a diploma in Human Resources from Durham College.
He is an active member of St. Therese Catholic Church in Courtice, Ontario where he supports the music ministry and outreach initiatives. He also enjoys spending time with family and friends at the cottage.
Elaine Baxter-Trahair joined the Regional Municipality of Durham as Chief Administrative Officer (CAO) on December 1, 2018.
Elaine brings over 25 years of municipal and public sector experience to the Region of Durham. Most recently as General Manager-Toronto Children’s Services and Interim Deputy City Manager, Elaine’s experience is complemented by a Bachelor of Education and a Master of Business Administration. Her extensive experience and reputation with provincial and municipal governments will benefit the Region of Durham moving forward.
Reporting to the Regional Chair and Durham Regional Council, the CAO provides leadership to approximately 5,000 employees who develop and implement goals, objectives, policies and priorities.
Nawal Chishty is a Professional Engineer with over 12 years of experience in the Canadian nuclear power industry focusing on risk management. She has held senior technical positions in reactor safety, systems engineering, regulatory compliance, project management and strategic planning. Currently she is a Senior Advisor in Regulatory Affairs and Stakeholder Relations at Ontario Power Generation (OPG) and is the Management System expert responsible for advising the nuclear organization on the practices for establishing and monitoring an effective Nuclear Management System. She is actively involved with the Canadian Standards Association (CSA) and is a member of the Advisory Board to the Faculty of Energy Systems and Nuclear Sciences at Ontario Tech University. She is also a proud member of Women in Nuclear and passionate about encouraging girls and women to pursue careers in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM).