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Who We Are

Meet our valued members

The Foundation relies on the personal commitment and active involvement of a group of 12 individuals who serve as members of the Foundation Board. Board members are expected to be zealous advocates on our behalf, enthusiastic communicators of our mission and vision, and actively demonstrate their support of the work undertaken by SCF.

We also welcome volunteers to be part of our board committees or to assist with events .


Mike Barron
Executive Director
Irene Clarke
Office & Grants Administrator

Board of Directors

Jessica Martin
Board Chair

Jessica is one of the owners of the Sarnia Express Employment Professionals Office. She is the Operations and Recruitment Manager, connecting exceptional candidates and companies in professional fields while managing the Sales team and running the day-to-day operations. Before starting at Express, she spent over 20 years in Marketing and Special Events for the OLG Casino Point Edward, then as the Customer Relations Manager of Starlight Casino in Point Edward.  Outside the office, she enjoys traveling anywhere hot, yoga to relax, and volleyball from time to time.

Andrew Douglas
Board Vice-Chair

Andrew Douglas is an IT software analyst who has recently learned about the good work of the community foundation. He has volunteered for a number of smaller community organization and has seen how the work of the community foundation has impacted them. He is looking forward to helping the Foundation continuing to build a vibrant, inclusive, livable Lambton County.

Jeff Burchill

Jeff Burchill, BBA, CLU, CFP, CHFC, retired Certified Financial Planner. Grew up in Sarnia , attending NCIVS. Always been active in the community including involvement with The Kidney Foundation, Redeemer Lutheran Church, Athletics Southwest Track & Field, The Bluewater International Gran Fondo and the Sarnia Community Foundation. Recipient of The Chamber of Commerce Small Business of the Year, 2016. Married to Anne West; proud father of Claire and Colin. Interested in staying active and spending time outdoors, Jeff enjoys all sports, mostly cycling and hiking.

Jessica Paradis

Jessica Paradis works as the Marketing Coordinator at Lambton Mall where she plans special events and enjoys collaborating with local community agencies and charities to come up with creative ways to work together. She is excited to be a part of the special events committee with the Sarnia Community Foundation to continue contributing positively to our community.

Gini Newman
Community Impact Chair

A resident of Petrolia, Gini is actively involved in that community through the church.

Rosanna Doidge
Retired Teacher

Having spent many years in the classroom , Rosanna brings multiple organizational skills to the work of the board. As a member of the Special Events Committee in 2018, she witnessed first hand the impact the Foundation has in the community.

Brandon Van Bilson

Born in Sarnia, Brandon has Bachelor of Engineering (BEng), Chemical, Co-op Program, McMaster University.  Brandon currently works at SWAGELOK ONTARIO as a Engineering Technical Specialist/Inside Sales/Fluid Systems Trainer.  Brandon is an avid golfer and he looks forward to his time with the Sarnia Community Foundation.

Deanna Sandrin

Deanna grew up in Sarnia, Ontario, and graduated from the University of Western Ontario with a Bachelor of Arts degree. She moved to California, to study, and graduated with an Associate of Arts degree from F.I.D.M. in Marketing.  Upon her return to Sarnia, she was able to utilize and implement her diverse experience, assuming ownership, and management responsibilities for multiple companies, both new start-ups and existing companies.  Deanna is an active entrepreneur, her leadership role within companies that are traditionally male-dominated (skilled trades) makes her a role model for the new generation of women entering the workforce, especially in the Sarnia Lambton Community where skilled trades are in high demand.  Deanna is an extremely active member of our community, investing her time and financial support for several charities including Noelle’s Gift, Inn of the Good Sheppard, and Habitat for Humanity.

Deborah Austin
Deborah Austin

Deborah Austin has been an active advocate for improvement in the indigenous justice system and is a respected leader within the legal community. She is a judge of the Ontario Court of Justice dealing primarily with criminal and family law cases. Her advocacy on behalf of the Gladhue court has made a significant difference in the community. She has a true passion for social justice and is dedicated volunteer both locally and abroad serving as project director for Rayjon Share Care.

Bill Woods
Bill Woods

Bill is a life long resident of Sarnia and has been an active supporter of many community organizations through work and family life. He is currently a Portfolio Manger, Investment Advisor for TD Wealth Private Investment and has been in the investment industry since 2002 Prior to that he was with a large financial institution as a branch manager. A business graduate of Fanshawe College, Bill has obtained an accounting designation as well as having the CIM, FMA designations from the Canadian Securities Institute.

Margaret Dragan
Margaret Dragan

Margaret Dragan joined the SCF Board in 2020. Prior to her retirement she served as Vice-President Finance and Administration of Lambton College and held senior management roles in the petrochemical industry. A member of the boards of Bluewater Power, Bluewater Health, and and The Inn of the Good Shepherd and previously of numerous local charities, Margaret was recipient of the SCF Women of Excellence Award in 2018.

Stéphane Thiffeault

Stéphane is a lawyer and is the Chief Administrative Officer of The Corporation of the County of Lambton.  He is a member of a number of provincial adjudication boards including the Health Professions Appeals and Review Board and the Health Services Appeals and Review Board. He has practiced law in the public and private sectors and has occupied senior management/executive positions including that of Chief Privacy Officer and Compliance Officer with responsibilities in Canada, the United States and the Republic of Singapore.

Bill Hazlitt
Treasurer FCPA FCA

Bill has been the Treasurer for SCF for many years and the Foundation has been blessed by his knowledge of the community and local charities, his financial acumen and his concern for fiscal responsibility within our organization.

He has been involved in many of Sarnia’s charities as a board member, treasurer or auditor and has a broad range of charitable interests.

Gautam Soparkar

Gautam Soparkar is a local physician and author, specializing in lung disorders and sleep apnea. He is an adjunct professor at Western University, London, Ontario and a long-time resident of Sarnia. He has been involved with the community through the Soparkar Family Fund and the Awesome Foundation. He now looks forward to further community involvement as a board member of the Sarnia Community Foundation.

Become a Foundation Volunteer

Current Volunteer Opportunities

Community Engagement Committee

We’re always looking to build awareness about SCF and its work through community conversations and events. Our community conversations are intended to broaden SCF’s knowledge of the community and assist in our grants process. Other events help raise funds to support our agency funds, our operations or other causes in the communities we serve. If you have a great idea for an event that can benefit the work of the community foundation, we’d like to hear from you. Flexible hours up to the day of the event.

Finance & Audit Committee

Committee members are needed to provide advice to the Foundation regarding the Foundation’s financial policies, financial function and compliance with accepted standards. The committee also plays a role in our investment oversight strategy and advises the board regarding the performance of our discretionary fund manager. Quarterly meetings are scheduled

Community Impact Committee

This group of volunteers reviews Grants and Scholarship applications made to the Foundation. Meetings are held in May, June, September and October on an as needed basis. Much of the work involves reading and assessing applications before making recommendations to the Foundation Board. We rely on 5 to 8 volunteers to assist in the review to ensure our grants meet a community need.

Governance Committee

The members of this committee oversee the compliance of the Foundation with the regulations that govern us, provide substance to the policies and procedures of the Foundation and help direct the ongoing work of strategic planning. Quarterly meetings with advance preparation and occasional small group work to complete tasks. d in

There may be other short term volunteer opportunities as the Foundation continues to grow. Please connect with the office by email to inquire.

If you are interested in learning more about the community and the impact the Foundation has then we might be the volunteer opportunity for you. Please call the office for details at 519-332-2588 or download an application and submit it to the SCF office.

Volunteers Give the Gift of Time