We will create opportunities in education, training, employment and housing initiatives in our communities, so that all people with Down syndrome can live full and happy lives.
We are driven by the belief that individuals with Down syndrome should be fully accepted and integrated members of society, empowered to reach their full potential and enjoyment of life.
We are a foundation that supports the Halton Down Syndrome Association & the Ontario Down Syndrome Association.
Halton Down Syndrome Association
Board of Directors
Mr. Furlane brings 30 years of technology experience specializing in the Transportation, Network Security, and Parking industries. He has been involved in over 500 million dollars in Technology investments and was contracted to lead the initiatives of several large public IT companies. He aggressively built three transportation technology companies that established the vanguard for tracking and monitoring vehicle movement. His companies developed and sold integrated control systems for major airports, hospitals and parking lot management companies.
A former President of the Canadian Parking Association, Mr. Furlane served as Co-Chairman of the first World Symposium on Intelligent Transportation Systems, an international symposium attended by delegates representing 50 countries. As a result of his successful business experience, his companies’ technological innovation, and his international scope, Mr. Furlane is considered to be one of the leaders in this industry. Mr. Furlane served as Chairman to the Neurological Hospitals Centers for Ability, and the Board of Governors of Ontario Junior A Hockey, and has investments in the Entertainment and Sports industries.
Born in Kitchener, Ontario on September 18, 1950, one of eight children in the Sittler family, Darryl became a star player of the Ontario Hockey Association’s London Knights.
There are very few players in Toronto Maple Leaf history, which captured both the imagination of hockey fans and a place in their hearts, like number 27, Darryl Sittler. He was selected as the Leafs’ first pick and eighth overall in the 1970 Entry Draft. Sittler’s continuous offensive exploits began to shine during his third-season in the league when he scored 77 points. At the age of 24, he became the second youngest captain in team history.
In 1976, Sittler would achieve legendary status, both in Toronto, and across the Canadian hockey world. It began at Maple Leaf Gardens on February 7, 1976, in a game against the Boston Bruins. While centering a line with Lanny McDonald and Errol Thompson, Sittler scored six goals and added four assists to set an NHL record – one that still stands today – for most points in a game with 10. That record-breaking moment helped Sittler become the first ever Maple Leaf to reach 100 points in a single season.
Two months later in April, Sittler’s sensational scoring streak would continue in the Stanley Cup playoffs, when he scored five goals in one game against the Philadelphia Flyers, tying a playoff record. Nearly five months later at the Montreal Forum, on September 15, 1976 during the Canada Cup, Sittler cemented his standing in Canadian hockey lore. Taking a pass from teammate Marcel Dionne in overtime, he beat Czech goalie Vladimir Dzurilla on a partial breakaway, scoring the tournament winning goal for Canada and securing his place as a national hockey hero
In 1989, Sittler was inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame. He was honoured prior to a home game against the Montreal Canadiens on February 8th, 2003, at the Air Canada Centre. It was an unforgettable, touching tribute to an illustrious Maple Leaf career. The entire organization proudly raised a banner to the rafters with his number 27 and his name!
On September 6, 2014 the Toronto Maple Leafs honoured Darryl again, with the unveiling of his bronze statue outside the Air Canada Centre. He is one of the first three Leaf players to become a member of “Legends Row”.
Today, Darryl spends time working with Maple Leaf Sports and Entertainment Inc in areas of Corporate Partners and in community relations. He is an active Member of the Board of Directors of several publicly listed mining companies and is also very supportive of a number of charities. These charities include the Special Olympics Canada, Screen Colons Canada and Colon Cancer Canada in honor of his late wife Wendy who died from colon cancer in 2001.
Luce Veilleux’s career as a senior financial services executive has been distinguished by breakthrough initiatives in payments, automotive lending, and database marketing. As SVP of Retail Products at Scotiabank International, she launched the first mobile wallet in the Americas, Tcho Tcho Mobile, which was publicly acclaimed by Bill Clinton; it won the Bill Gates Foundation Award, among other global accolades. She participated in more than 20 due diligences, resulting in the acquisition of 11 different banks in Latin America and Asia, and launched a new automotive lending model for Latin America.
While CMO at Aeroplan, Ms. Veilleux renegotiated the CIBC co-brand card contract, resulting in an incremental $100MM annual revenue and $1.3B over the life of the agreement. She ushered in the era of big data at RBC while heading the cards and marketing divisions, and launched Avion, Canada’s leading credit card.
Most recently, she has sat on boards and acted as an advisor in the entrepreneurial space for Yellow Pepper, MoPals, and MarsDD. She is a past member of the boards of the Children’s Aid Foundation, Scotiabank Chile, the MasterCard Latin American Advisory and the Canadian Marketing Association. Ms. Veilleux holds an MBA from the University of Western Ontario and a Bachelor of Commerce from McGill University. She has three children and is fluent in English, French and Spanish!
Roshan is a seasoned financial professional with over 20 years of experience in accounting and finance.
Prior to joining LOCOMOBI Roshan worked in senior management roles at Discount Car and Truck Rentals Ltd, Roof Mart – IKO Industries, Budget Car and Truck Rentals and the Canadian Football League. His extensive experience includes multi-location based financial reporting, franchise operations, risk management, relationship management with banks and other lenders, audit, and business planning. His key accomplishments include new division set up, large scale system conversions, increasing profits, and business process re-engineering.
Roshan holds an Honours Bachelor of Business Administration degree specializing in Accounting and is a designated member of Certified Professional Accountants of Ontario.
Director of Corporate Fundraising
An entrepreneur at heart Mr. Smiechowski founded and ran Mighty Leaf Canada – an artisanal whole leaf tea product in an oversized silken mesh. Ahead of the curve on wellness and nutrition, Mighty Leaf catered to the likes of Whole Foods, Intrawest, numerous hotels, renowned spas and celebrity chefs.
Mr. Smiechowski brings over 15 years of capital markets and entrepreneurial experience. He started trading options for a large Canadian bank-owned dealer and became the head trader of a multi- strategy hedge fund with a global focus. He has significant experience in raising capital for emerging companies. Mr. Smiechowski earned his BCOMM from the University of Toronto and is a CFA charter holder.
Mr. Smiechowski represented Canada in the sport of Water Polo and competed in 3 World Championships.
Director of Marketing
Natalie is an experienced Business Development and Investor Relations professional. She currently consults for face-paced, entrepreneurial and creative organizations on business development and relationship management strategies. Most recently as Director of Corporate Finance, she was engaged with a high profile Board of Directors in taking a private equity acquisition platform public. She was responsible for facilitating pre-public Investor Relations and involved with parent-company infrastructure build-out activities. Previously, she was VP Business Development at an Asset Management firm for both Institutional and retail Investors. In this role, she oversaw the firm’s debt portfolio and equity fundraising including: sourcing, negotiating and managing all financing and capital raising activities.
Natalie is a Board Member for Have a Heart for Down Syndrome, a foundation that supports the Halton and Ontario Down Syndrome Associations to create opportunities in education, training, employment and housing initiatives in our communities, so that all people with Down syndrome can live full and happy lives. She is also a current Board Member of the Ivey Alumni Network and recently acted as Director of Finance for the Ivey Alumni Network of Toronto Chapter Executive from 2013-2014. As another method of contributing to her community, she is also a trained prenatal yoga teacher.
Natalie earned her MBA from the Richard Ivey School of Business as a member of the Dean’s Honour List and a Bachelor in Economics with Distinction from the University of Victoria. She also holds a number of accreditations from the Canadian Securities Institute with Honours.
Co-Director of Events
Joyce brings both extensive business experience and a long list of fundraising accomplishments for charities and foundations. After working for a fortune 500 company for 5 years Joyce worked on several fund raising efforts including several schools and part of the charitable organization, BC CENTER FOR ABILITY where she helped organize large events, gathering celebrities in various fields from entertainment, to sports to business. In addition she was involved with fund raising for Hockey teams including the Junior A level.
Joyce continues to work for and consult for various businesses in the planning and organizational levels.
Joyce also enjoys music including her piano where she has Toronto Conservatory of Music First Class honors.
Co-Director of Events
Joanne is knowledgeable about all Oakville neighbourhoods. She is always available to her clients and customers, equally sensitive to the needs of sellers and buyers from first viewing to listing through closing.
Joanne developed strong sales experience during more than 15 years as a sales and territory manager for one of Canada’s leading cosmetic companies. Her design sense was honed from planning and overseeing several home renovations, personally and professionally, as well as acting as a home stager. After buying and selling many properties in Oakville, Toronto and cottage country, she fell in love with the process; viewing properties, learning the market, identifying which attributes spoke to her and navigating the real estate process.
A wife and mother of three, Joanne feels a strong pull toward finding family homes. With the priorities of an urban parent and the skills of an experienced professional, she can streamline the process for busy parents looking to buy and is empathetic to the schedules of sellers with small children. After relocating to Oakville from Toronto more than a decade ago, Joanne feels an affinity for new buyers and enjoys advising on schools, neighbourhoods and amenities to help make the transition a positive and rewarding one.
In her spare time, Joanne is very involved in the Down Syndrome Society, acting as a liaison for new parents. As the mother of a special needs child, she knows firsthand what a great community Oakville is for special needs children and adults and is passionate about giving back.
Director-at-Large and HDSA Chair
Leanne lives in Milton with her husband Scott and their children; Aiden and Sydney. As well as being the Chair of Halton Down Syndrome Association, Leanne is a full-time teacher for the Hamilton-Wentworth District School Board. In addition to her involvement with HDSA, she volunteers and works with students and children in many other capacities.
As a teacher, Leanne started her career in Special Education, specifically teaching children with Down syndrome. She commits her time in various roles through sports, the arts, and extra-curricular activities. One of her true passions is to work with students on understanding ‘Social Justice’. Her ultimate goal is to spread awareness about Down syndrome and to help educate and shape young minds. In her classroom, and the school she works at, they focus on the concepts of equality, empathy, respect, acceptance, and friendship. Leanne was recently recognized for her work when she received the “Teaching Matters Award” – placing 4th out of 3,000 nominations across Canada.
Leanne and Scott joined HDSA after their beautiful daughter Sydney was born in 2011. She worked with the board through the first year on planning special events (BBQ, Holiday Party) and then launched HDSA’s first Buddy Walk in 2013. Leanne continues to spearhead fundraising events for HDSA (Go21 – Halton Walk for Down Syndrome), as well as other educational and advocacy initiatives. Leanne is proud of the work that she has done with the Board of Directors on the development of their Strategic Plan, as well as, shaping their Roles and Responsibilities. She is also proud of the work that the board is doing with all four Peer Groups, and the initiatives that surround World Down Syndrome Day. She is so excited about the direction that HDSA is moving and is looking forward to continuing to grow the association, so that one day this world will be ready for all our children, at every age and at every stage.
Sir Winston Churchill once wrote, “We make a living by what we get, but we make a life by what we give.”
Director-at-Large and DSAO Chair
Shortly after the birth of his daughter Samantha, Paul joined the Halton Down Syndrome Association (HDSA). He has continue to be involved with local, provincial and national Down syndrome groups every since. At the National level, Paul is a founding member representative of the Canadian Down Syndrome Society’s (CDSS) Affiliate Council. Since the initial meeting in 2007, he continues to link, support and share best practices with different groups from across Canada. Paul was the Chair of Local Organizing Committee for 25th Anniversary CDSS Conference in Toronto in May of 2012.
Paul joined the DSAO in 2007 and became President in October 2013. Mr. Bandiera outlined the importance of creating jobs for adults and for streamlining government services in his December 2013 presentation to the Ontario Government’s Select Committee on Developmental Services.
He continues his involvement with the Halton Down Syndrome Association (HDSA). Since he joined the Board in 1999, he has since held a variety of positions including President from 2004 to 2008.
Paul currently leads a team within the Retail Strategy & Solutions Group at TD Bank and is a Lean Six Sigma Black Belt candidate. He is an accomplished, energetic leader with a proven track-record in establishing best practices from conception and design to successful implementation. His passion for delivering technology solutions for complex business issues has created a number of new business areas within the companies he has worked at.
As part of Xerox Canada, he has delivered on a wide range of solutions that included services, software and hardware for Canada’s big five banks. He has helped these a number of the banks migrate from manual paper based processes to more automated and integrated digital workflows.
As part of print and print services industry, Paul held several Director roles in marketing, business development, sales and operations within a couple of the largest printers in Canada. He has had a broad experience with different printing technologies and has sold a variety of print outsourcing contracts as well as a wide range of applications. Paul gained experience as a consultant with Accenture and worked on a number of strategic and technology projects.
Although he has had always had an interest in technologies, he received his business degree from Ivey Business School at the University of Western Ontario.
Jennifer Thomas is the Director of Development and New Parent Co-Coordinator for Halton Down Syndrome Association. Jen is Co-Chairing the 2015 Go21 – Halton Walk for Down Syndrome, and is honoured to be a part of the new Have a Heart for Down Syndrome Foundation. In her role with HDSA, Jen has worked on several advocacy and strategic development initiatives, including the launch of a new contest in 2015 for Elementary Schools throughout Halton. The contest encourages schools to raise awareness and empathy by celebrating World Down Syndrome Day.
In her role as New Parent Co-Coordinator, Jen meets with families who have received a prenatal or post-birth diagnosis of Down syndrome to provide support, information and guidance. She is also actively involved with the Down Syndrome Association of Toronto’s New Parent Outreach Program, which is committed to providing information to families in hospital and clinical settings throughout the GTA.
Jen became involved in the Down syndrome community in 2013, after the birth of her beautiful son, Benjamin, who has Down syndrome. Ben has been the inspiration behind Jen’s passion in advocating for a more inclusive community in which people of all ability levels will be seen as valuable, contributing members.
Jen has a Bachelor of Commerce from Queen’s University and a Bachelor of Education from University of Toronto’s OISE, with Special Education, Math and Reading specialties. She currently works as an Underwriter at Chubb Insurance Company of Canada and continues her work with children through tutoring and volunteer opportunities throughout the community. Jen sat on the Board as Treasurer for the Princess Ball fundraiser (in support of Prostate Cancer Canada), and has been a proud volunteer with Girl Guides of Canada and Ronald McDonald House in Winnipeg.
Stephen Kennedy Smith
Director-at-Large and Advisor
Stephen Kennedy Smith received his B.A from Harvard University, J.D. from Columbia University, and M.Ed from Harvard University School of Education. After law school, Mr. Smith served as an assistant district attorney in New York. He later joined the staff of the Senate Judiciary and Foreign Relations Committees. After leaving the Senate, Mr. Smith worked at Conflict Management Group; a nonprofit associated with Harvard Law School, and taught in the advanced program on negotiation at Harvard University Law School. As part of his work at Conflict Management, Mr. Smith consulted with global clients including the Organization of African Unity, the World Bank, the Inter-American Development Bank and the parties in the Irish Peace process. Mr. Smith is a three-time recipient of the Danforth Award for excellence in teaching at Harvard University and is also the winner of the Lyndehurst Foundation Prize for social and artistic achievement.
For the past twenty years, Mr. Smith has been on the Kennedy board of Joseph P. Kennedy Enterprises, the Kennedy family investment office. He has delivered keynote presentations at the annual conferences of the Family Firm Institute and the Family Office Exchange– the two major family business organizations. He has also served on the board of the John F. Kennedy Library, the Robert F. Kennedy Memorial, Citizens Energy, the Northeastern University School of Public Policy, and INCAE Business School and the advisory board of the Joslin Diabetes Center at Harvard Medical School. He is a Fellow at the International Economic Alliance, an organization dedicated to promoting innovative international trade.
As a partner and advisory board member, Mr. Smith is actively involved in a number of medical and green technology businesses, including Emlink, which develops, designs and manages sustainable technology; The Marwood Group, a healthcare-focused strategic advisory and financial services firm; and Pear Therapeutics, a medical software company.
Mr. Smith was Deputy Campaign Manager for Senator Edward Kennedy during his Presidential and Senatorial campaigns, Youth Coordinator for the campaign of Mario Cuomo, served on the New England Steering Committee for the Obama presidential campaign, and continues to be active in Democratic politics.”
Our website is currently under construction!
Please contact us if you have any questions.