Board of Directors

As a not-for-profit corporation, Thistleoaks is overseen by a Board of up to nine volunteer Directors, made up of parents and community stakeholders. The Board's mandate is to responsibly govern the Centre by establishing the policies, budgets, and direction for the Executive and School Directors, who oversee and run the day-to-day management of Thistleoaks. 

Any matters pertaining to the daily operation of the centre should be brought to the School Director first. For other matters, the Board can be reached at board@thistleoaks.ca

Executive

I am a Marketing manager for Microsoft Canada, and my two children are enrolled at Thistleoaks. I have held various positions on the Board over the past four years.

Since the moment our family joined the Thistleoaks community, we have been blown away by all of the amazing staff and management team. Our eldest daughter has gone through all of the preschool programs, and each is as good as the last. We love Thistleoaks, and through the Board I am focused on making sure Thistleoaks continues to be a pillar of the community for another 30 years!

L. David LeBlanc

Chair

Joined Thistleoaks: 2015

I joined the Thistleoaks Board of Directors in 2016 shortly after my daughter began attending the centre. I served one year as Secretary, and have served as Vice-Chair since September 2017. I currently work in IT for a health care company. 

I very much enjoy contributing to all that Thistleoaks has to offer. I have a background in Business with a specialization in Management Information Systems (Bachelor of Commerce from Queen's University), and I am a Certified Information Systems Auditor (CISA). Thistleoaks is a wonderful centre with a unique approach to child care, and I am thrilled to be a part of it. 

I grew up in Oakville, and settled back here after spending five years in the UK. My daughter graduated from Thistleoaks but looks forward to being back on PA Days. My son marches happily into his classroom without looking back at me. My husband and I count ourselves lucky that they have received such quality care in a loving, nurturing, and empowering environment. 

Lauren Wallis

Vice-Chair

Joined Thistleoaks: 2016

 

Lisa Bombardieri

Treasurer

Joined Thistleoaks: 2016

I joined the Thistleoaks Board of Directors in 2016 when my daughter started in the Infant room. I served one year as Secretary, and became the Treasurer in September 2018, a position I have enjoyed. 

I obtained a law degree from Queen's University and was called to the bar in 2009, and I also hold a Bachelors Degree with Honours in English Literature from the University of Ottawa. I own my own family law practice, and am responsible not only for the practice of law, but also for running all aspects of my business. 

My favourite thing about Thistleoaks is that every day that I dropped my daughter off, I never worried about the quality of care that she was receiving. I know that she was loved, that her needs were met, and that when I picked her up, she was happy and excited to tell me about her day. She has made amazing friends at Thistleoaks - we both have! She now thrives at school and looks back on her Thistleoaks days fondly. 

Luc Brunet

Secretary

Joined Thistleoaks: 2018

 

I joined the Thistleoaks Board of Directors in 2018 following a call for volunteers at the 2018 Annual General Meeting.

As a Board member, I often leverage my past teaching experience (Bachelors degrees in Human Kinetics and Education from the University of Ottawa), as well as my broad business background (Masters of Business Administration from the University of Windsor) to address Thistleoaks’ various challenges and opportunities. I also share the expertise I gained as a past board member and chair for the Oakville Parent-Child Centre for over 7 years.

I grew up in Eastern Ontario but have called Oakville home for over 18 years. My son attends Thistleoaks and we have had the pleasure of being exposed to the professional, caring, and supportive approach of numerous teachers and administrative staff members over the past few years. An overall wonderful experience with the added benefit of working alongside Cheryl, Mindy, and the other Board members in further enhancing the organization’s services and engagement with key stakeholders.

Directors

Lindsay Sornberger

Joined Thistleoaks: 2020

 

As an Oakville native and previous Kerr Street resident, our family fell in love with Thistleoaks  during our very first visit. Both my kids have attended Thistleoaks  since 2017. Our entire family has had an extremely positive experience with the teachers, administrative staff and students. We have created lifelong friendships and a very special bond with Thistleoaks.

I am a Business Systems Analyst with a Commerce Degree from the University of Guelph. I am looking forward to contributing to help Thistleoaks continue to be a great place for children, staff and parents. Thistleoaks has been a huge part of the Kerr Community for over 30 years, I am committed to serve as a Board member to ensure Thistleoaks continues to be a leader in the child care industry.

I will never forget dropping my daughter off on her very first day knowing she was in the absolute best hands. That feeling continued each and every day and became very evident at pick up when she never wanted to leave. Thistleoaks is truly a special place and I am very excited for this opportunity to be a part of it.

Jason Leitch

Joined Thistleoaks: 2016

I have been involved with Thistleoaks since 2016, as both a parent and a member of the Board of Directors, including holding the position of Chair from September of 2017 to October of 2020.

I enjoy combining my background in Education (Bachelor of Education from the University of Western Ontario) and Business (Bachelor of Commerce from the University of Guelph) to help ensure Thistleoaks is on track towards its mission of being the leader in quality child care in Halton.

My family and I reside in Oakville and have had multiple children attend Thistleoaks. We couldn’t be happier with the care that they have received.

Mojahed Qashoa

Joined Thistleoaks: 2020

I joined the Thistleoaks Board of Directors in 2020 in appreciation of the importance of early care that children receive in order to grow as successful students and engaged citizens in our society. As a father of two daughters, I wanted to volunteer with Thistleoaks by sharing my  organizational development, technology transformation, and financial restructuring expertise. I have a Bachelor of Commerce degree from Concordia University and a Master of Arts degree from York University which are the stepping stones for my professional experience that I am proud to bring to this great organization. 

Diana Saturno

Joined Thistleoaks: 2019

 

I am very excited to be working with a wonderful team for the year ahead. After graduating from university, I moved to England where I studied law. I returned to Canada after my studies and I now am a lawyer practicing in employment and health law. Once I started working full-time, I began to seek out volunteer opportunities in an effort to give back to the community. While I do not have a child enrolled at Thistleoaks, I grew up in Oakville and am very excited to be working with an organization in my hometown. As the only non parent on the Board, I hope to provide a unique perspective and also look forward to learning from the talented other Board members.  

Cathy Lipton

Joined Thistleoaks: 2020

 

I am excited and honoured to be joining a talented group of board members who care about and share the same vision for Thistleoaks and to ensure it continues to be a leader in quality childcare in the Region of Halton.

 

I achieved an honours degree in both Child Studies and Early Childhood Education and have more than 30 years experience in the childcare field as an educator, supervisor and educational assistant for the Halton School Board. Most recently for the past 10 years I worked as a Quality First Consultant. Thistleoaks was one of the centres which fell under my portfolio. During my time working with the team at Thistleoaks I was always impressed with both the leadership teams and educators commitment to quality childcare.

 

I bring a great deal experience and knowledge in the industry as well as first-hand perspective of the child care community to this board.

 

From my perspective, it is crucial to meet the needs of the children and their families as well as to advocate for the educators in order to achieve the best quality of child care. I am happily married with 2 grown children and have called Oakville my home for the past 30 years.

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