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We are closed to the public September 28-29 from 10am-2pm


Phone ext.

(905) 356-7384

Executive DirectorElisabeth Graham107
Operations DirectorHelena Nieuwland100
Forest Discovery DirectorLisa Staton108
Social Enterprise DirectorLisa Arp105
Facility ServicesRita Maier110
Financial ServicesSylvie Grenier109
Wood ShopBob Moody and Eli Sibley104
Maintenance Natasha Rogers 103
Website and TechnologySteven Ingram101
Volunteer CoordinatorFlora Sibley102
Day ProgramAlex Thatcher & Nicole Branston

Board of Directors

Dan Bouwman (Founder)
After immigrating to Canada from the Netherlands in 1966, Dan founded Dan’s Produce in
Niagara Falls. From humble beginnings, this wholesale business has grown into a major supplier
of fresh produce to many hotels, restaurants and grocery stores in the Niagara Region. Dan is the
visionary behind Heartland Forest, which embodies his latest efforts to give back to his

Jacqueline Burciul (Chair)
Jacqueline is our founder Dan Bouwman’s oldest daughter. You can’t go for a stroll through
Heartland Forest without seeing remembrances for Sydney Burciul who passed away on October
28, 2009 at the age of 12 from Lissencephaly, a rare brain birth defect. Sydney was the beloved
daughter of Ken and Jacqueline and sister to Taylor and Avery. We are thankful for this family’s
commitment to Heartland and for the many volunteer hours and in-kind donations that are made
on behalf of the family. With a wealth of personal experience and a passion for all abilities,
Jacqueline is the perfect family representative to sit on the board of directors.

Ed Nieuwesteeg (Vice Chair)
Ed was born and raised in Niagara Falls. He graduated with an honours degree in Business and
Political Science from Wilfred Laurier University. After his marriage to Ruth-Ann Patterson, he
returned to school attending Humber College and graduated in 1991 as a Licensed Funeral
Director. Ed has been an active community volunteer for many years with the Jaycees, the Big
Brother Association, Board Director for Community Living and Board Chair for YMCA for over
ten years. Ed is a five-term elected trustee for Niagara Catholic District School Board.

Emily Watson (Treasurer)
Emily was born and raised in the Niagara Region, completing her Bachelor’s Degree in Public
Health and Master’s Degree in Business Administration at Brock University. Emily has
considerable experience working with Niagara’s youth in her previous roles as a program
instructor for the City of St. Catharines and St. Thomas Daycare, young adult peer leader at
Niagara Region, and health educator at Heart Niagara. Emily’s most recent work experience has
been in marketing and information technology at Niagara Casinos. Emily has held various
volunteer roles in our community including; emergency department volunteer at Niagara Health,
Treasurer at Celebrate Old Downtown, and volunteering in various initiatives at Heart Niagara.
Through her community involvement, Emily is committed to improving the social determinants
of health through education, programming and accessible spaces for all.

Doug Kane
Doug is retired from the Niagara Parks Commission as the Police Chief with over thirty years of
career commitment. He has an active interest in Special Olympics and sits on the Board of
Directors for Niagara Region’s Brain Injury Community Re-Entry and St. Catharines
Community Living. Doug thoroughly enjoys the outdoor lifestyle and he and his son Adam and
his wife Maureen contribute countless hours to facility and property maintenance at Heartland

Sue Forcier
Sue Forcier holds the position of Vice-President of Communications, Marketing and Public
Affairs and is the Chief Conservation Officer for Niagara Peninsula Energy Inc. She is also a
Board Director and Chair of Marketing for the Niagara Winter Festival of Lights and is a trustee
with the Grand Council of the Order Sons of Italy – Canada. She is formerly a Mentor with the
Canadian Public Relations Society Student Program and a former board member and Fundraising
Chair with Project Share Food Bank. With her vast educational and work experience, Sue brings
extensive knowledge in communications, marketing and conservation to the Heartland team.

Steve Murphy
Steve is a Niagara native with over 30 years’ experience in the Social Services Sector. Steve was
the initial Director of Project SHARE and since then has had employment in a variety of
positions with the Ministry of Community and Social Services (ODSP Income Maintenance
Officer) and Niagara Region (Ontario Works Case manager and Job Developer). Currently he is
the Accessibility Advisory Coordinator at Niagara Region. Steve is a supporter of Heartland
Forest’s activities and freely shares his skills in Non-profit Organizations, Coaching, Universal
Design, Government, and Program Evaluation.

Chris Coker
Chris is the Manager of Technology Integration for Niagara EMS where his primary role is to
take advanced knowledge of EMS and determine what innovative technologies can be applied to
improve operations. Prior to this, Chris obtained his B.Sc. in Biology with a minor in
Anthropology from Trent University with a focus on entomology (insects). Chris continued his
studies and received his Masters in Animal Science from the University of British Columbia,
focusing on avian (bird) studies; specifically, waterfowl behaviour and ecologys. When not at
work, Chris loves to travel, hike and photograph landscapes and wildlife; usually with his wife,
Anne, and two dogs in tow.

Tim Shafley
In 1981, Tim joined the Niagara Regional Police Auxiliary, as a stepping stone, to a career as a
full-time officer. On January 15th 1984, he was involved in a life altering motor vehicle
collision, while on duty as an Auxiliary officer, which left him with several injuries, most serious
being spinal cord injury resulting in him being an incomplete paraplegic. In 1985, he was hired
by Niagara Regional Police as a dispatcher. He retired from the dispatch position in 2018, after
33 years. Tim is a former member of Niagara Falls Optimist Club, former Coach with Niagara

Falls Girls Softball, Honoured Member of the Rick Hansen Man in Motion Tour. Currently Tim
volunteers in Heartland’s wood shop and at community events. He is an avid photographer.

Janie Palmer
Janie has participated with numerous community organizations, including the Chamber of
Commerce (past Chair of Board of Directors), Niagara Community Foundation, Boys & Girls
Club of Niagara Falls, and FACS. She has been honoured by the Rotary Club of Niagara Falls
with the Paul Harris Award and is a recipient of the Queen’s Jubilee Medal. Since the early
2000s she has run her own marketing company, J. P. Market & Event Planning and has been the
Chair of the Board of Directors for the Niagara Falls Hydro. Janie joined the event team at
Heartland Forest in 2018 and is a valued volunteer.

Don Sorley
Don is a recently retired CPA with 30 plus years’ experience in senior management/director
roles. He has been actively involved in various voluntary roles including a mentorship role with
Junior Achievement, a parent council rep with the DSBN, sat on hiring committees and
enrollment review committees with the District School Board, was on the Board of Directors of
the Children’s Museum of St. Catharines, the audit committee for Women’s Place and is a past
president of the St. Catharines Female Hockey Association.


Joe McCallum
Joe has been Chair of the Ontario Bar Association Solo Small Firm General Practice Committee
and was a member of the OBA task Force on changes to the Human Rights Code. Prior to
opening his own practice, he was a regular sessional lecturer in Human Resource law at Brock
University and business at Niagara College. He was the Honourary Solicitor for the
St.Catharines – Thorold Chamber of Commerce and is a past Honourary Solicitor for the Greater
Niagara Chamber of Commerce.

Brian Kon
Brian has been involved with Heartland Forest for more than a decade as a community member,
founding Board member and disability consultant. He is the president of Sterling Frazer
Associates, a minority owned consulting business that has been in operation for 26 years. Brian
was involved in developing the AODA Customer Service Standard on behalf of the province.
His expertise in disability issues is sought by businesses, universities and government agencies
throughout North America, Europe and Asia. As the sole owner of the company he
acknowledges that he is both a person with a disability and from Indigenous heritage. Brian is
active and well connected in both communities and we are grateful for his expertise.

Larry Landon
Larry is the Executive Director of the Professional Hockey Player’s Association. He was drafted
to the Montreal Canadians in 1978 and traded to the Toronto Maple Leafs in 1984.  Larry was
recently named by Hockey News as one of the top 100 “People in Power” in the hockey world.

Rob Watson
Rob joined the tree house volunteer crew back in 2005 and he and his extended family have been
valued volunteers at Heartland ever since. Rob is an industrial mechanic and specializes in heavy
equipment repairs – although he can repair just about anything! For seventeen years he and his
family owned Drummond Home Hardware and Heartland regularly benefited from their
generous community spirit. Rob is a fixture here at Heartland and our ‘go to’ person if we need
maintenance, equipment or facility support.


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