On a Penny Board
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Board of Directors 2021 - 2022

Interested in becoming a Board Member?

To be a member of the Board of Directors, you must live or work in Lanark County, be over the age of 18 and be passionate about child and youth mental health.  The Board meets the last Wednesday of every month (except July) and in addition, each Board member is expected to  be a member of at least one committee for an additional meeting per month. Please send your resume and letter of interest to admin@opendoors.on.ca

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Chairperson - Andrew Pratt

My name is Andrew Pratt and I am a proud member of the Board of Directors for Open Doors for Lanark Children and Youth.  I have been a Director and member of the Board for 2 years and have taken on a leadership position of Chair of the Board this year.  Professionally, I am an educator and have been in the field for fourteen years. I am currently an Elementary School Vice-Principal with the Upper Canada District School Board and started my career as a teacher with the Peel District School Board in 2007.  I am passionate about educating, guiding, caring for, and supporting youth, and have had success in collaborating with Community Partners to ensure that the children in our communities are supported in all aspects of their lives.  I was born and raised in Carleton Place, Ontario and my role with Open Doors is one avenue that I can give back to the community that had a hand in raising me.

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Past Chairperson - Abby Armstrong (Image Coming Soon)

Abby serves as Chair of the Board of Directors of Open Doors for Lanark Children & Youth after joining as a Director of the Board in 2016.  Abby brings a wealth of governance, legislative, and regulatory experience, and as Chair of the Board, is committed to Open Doors’ vision of improving the lives of children and youth by passionately advocating for their well being.  She is an active volunteer, and has worked with children, youth, and families throughout the years from coaching to collaborating with community partners.  With her experiences, Abby understands the importance of empowering children and youth as it brings transformative improvements to the health and prosperity of families, communities, and societies. 

A graduate of Algonquin College and Carleton University, Abby lives in the Lanark County area where she pursues her love of the outdoors with her family and friends.  

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Vice Chairperson - Lisha Elliston (Image Coming Soon)

Lisha joined the Board of Directors as a Director in 2020, after moving to the area with her family. Lisha is a graduate of Ryerson University with a Bachelor in Social Work. Lisha brings with her experience working in municipal recreation programming, Mental Health and experience working for Family and Children’s Services of Lanark Leeds and Grenville as a Protection Worker. Lisha feels very passionate about getting involved in her community, she believes that communities are stronger and more resilient when children, youth and families are empowered, and their voices are heard. Lisha feels very honored to be working with some of amazing families this county hosts!

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Treasurer  - Matthew Westphalen 

I am an accomplished Partner and client focused trusted advisor with over seventeen years of progressive professional experience servicing private, public and not-for profit enterprises.  I have a broad finance, accounting and auditing background with comprehensive knowledge of internal control frameworks, Corporate governance and operational management experience. I obtained my CPA, CA designation in 2006 and have had the privilege of working at 2 of the big 4 firms, as an acting controller in a public company and have been at my current firm for over 11 years where I have been promoted to Partner as of January 1, 2020. I am the proud father of 3 children, one of which is my step son. I moved to Carleton Place in July of 2019, therefore am fairly new to the area. I am honored to be part of the Board of Directors of Open Doors for Lanark Children and Youth and look forward to be part of an amazing team and Organization. In my downtime, I enjoy spending time with my family, go boating, relax on the beach, enjoy the great outdoors, visit the surrounding areas to discover new and exciting places.

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Board Member  - Margie Becker (Image Coming Soon)

Margie Becker joined the Board of Directors with Open Doors because she cares about the families and youth in Lanark County. As a Christian Ministry leader in Lanark County she has seen first-hand the need that exists for families, children, and young people to have efficient access to mental health services. As a Children’s Ministry Director she has witnessed the struggles that families face, as well as the difference it can make when they have a caring support system that provides them with timely assistance and helpful resources. After completing her undergrad in Political Science at the University of Guelph, Margie worked in Canada, Asia and North Africa as a Christian Missionary. Margie has worked and volunteered with youth and families in the non-profit sector in Ottawa and Lanark County for the last 15 years. Margie has been trained in Abuse Protection, Prevention and Response; Trauma informed care for Sexual Assault victims; and Mental Health First Aid, to better understand how to protect children and care for the vulnerable demographics in our community.  

Margie lives in Smiths Falls and enjoys playing basketball with her husband and children, gardening and hiking with friends. 

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Board Member  - Benjamin Marmer (Image and Bio Coming Soon)

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Board Member  - Andrea Egilo (Image and Bio Coming Soon)

Professionally, I am a CPA, CA, currently employed with the Trillium Dental Group as its Director of Finance. I've had a diverse career including experience in local and large public accounting firms and teaching as well as in industry. It's been a great career and allowed me the flexibility to work part-time as my husband and I reared our family of 2 beautiful children of whom I'm very proud.

On a personal level, I've volunteered in many positions. I served several years as the Treasurer of the church where my family attends. When our children were in elementary school, I volunteered at their school as a teacher's assistant. I also founded a women's pick-up hockey league that I'm proud to say continues today even though I moved away from the community and the league several years ago.

My husband and I moved to Almonte in 2017 after both our children had launched. I value being involved in the community in which I live so I began looking for an opportunity in which I could serve. I'm very excited to be joining the Board of Open Doors and to be helping the families of Lanark County. I believe that strong families are vital to our community.

In my spare time I love to ride my bicycle, swim, kayak, read and beat friends and family at board and card games.

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