Board member bios

Mr. Larry DiIanni, Chair

Larry became a member of the Board of Directors in 2010, participates on the Society’s Internal Complaints Review Panel and is currently Chair of the Board of Directors. Larry has dedicated his life to the community and the people of Hamilton. Following more than 25 years as a high school teacher and principal Larry entered politics as a councillor for both the town of Stoney Creek and then, with the newly amalgamated City of Hamilton.  From 2003 to 2006 Larry was Mayor of the City of Hamilton.  Larry’s contribution to the community has been wide spread as he has been a volunteer on many committees and boards in the charitable and public sector.

Mr. David Hennick, Vice-Chair

David joined the Board of Directors in June 2014 and currently serves as Vice-Chair and Chair of the Governance Committee. He is an Inspector with the Hamilton Police Service (HPS) and currently oversees the Mountain Patrol Division.  David graduated from the Police Foundations program at Conestoga College, has obtained his Bachelor of Arts Degree in Sociology from the University of Waterloo and recently completed the Executive Management Program at the DeGroote School of Business.  He is an active community volunteer, having held the following positions: past Board member of St. Joe’s Home Care, past Board Member of St Joe’s International Outreach Program and a past Board Member of Hamilton Police Service – in house charity Project Concern.  David has lectured at the University of Waterloo on the police approach to domestic violence. David and his wife Kathryn live with their two children in Guelph.

Mr. Laurence Kavanagh, Secretary

Laurence has been a member of the Board of Directors since September 2011 and currently serves as Secretary of the Board.  Laurence is a Multi-Media Specialist with the Hamilton Spectator.  Prior to joining The Spectator, Laurence’s career was rooted in the hospitality industry where he held several managerial positions for a variety of big brand restaurant groups in the GTA.  An active member of the community Laurence is a member of the Chamber of Commerce and an active fundraiser and advocate for a number of charities including the YMCA, Kids Help Phone Line, Juvenile Diabetes and the Special Olympics.  During our 2010-2011 fiscal year, Laurence assisted the Society by offering to highlight his adoption story as part of our Adoption Recruitment promotion.

Dr. Ian Preyra, Treasurer

BOARD MEMBER Dr. Ian PreyraDr. Preyra became a member of the Board in June 2017 and is Chief of Staff at Joseph Brant Hospital in Burlington.  He has extensive governance experience including risk management and quality assurance. Dr. Preyra has a deep understanding of the work of child welfare.  Dr. Preyra and his three children live in Oakville.


Ms. Jackie Bajus

BOARD MEMBER Jackie BajusJackie joined the Board of Directors in June 2015.  A retired employee of the Hamilton Wentworth Catholic District School Board, Jackie served as a teacher, Special Education Resource Specialist, Principal and Superintendent of Education. Jackie has a great deal of experience working with children and youth with complex needs and issues and understands firsthand the children and youth we serve and their needs. Jackie was also the HWCDSB Liaison with CCAS for seven years and was a member of the Care Beyond Belief Resource Committee. Jackie is the mother of two and a grandmother of four. She is an active member of her parish (St. John the Baptist, Burlington) where she has been a lector for the past 25 years among many other activities.

Ms. Simone Bilato

Ms. Bilato is an Insurance Lawyer working in Hamilton at the Law firm of Agro Zaffiro since 2018. Ms. Bilato obtained her Bachelor of Arts degree in Political Science at McMaster University in 2015 and her law degree at Bora Laskin Faculty of Law, Lakehead University. Ms. Bilato has been actively involved in her parish community and sees herself as offering creative ideas, analytical skills to support the work of the Board of Directors. Ms. Bilato notes that her “faith has been one of the constants in her life” and sees it as a guide to support the mission and vision of the agency.

Ms. Anna Marie Brownlow

BOARD MEMBER Anna Maria BrownlowAnna Maria has been a member of the Board of Directors since June 2011. Anna Maria served as Treasurer for the Board for two years.  She is a Chartered Professional Accountant, employed as Vice-President Finance for Turkstra Lumber Company Limited.  Prior to joining Turkstra Lumber, Anna Maria held senior positions in financial and public accounting organizations. She has served on the Parent Council at St. Ann School and as the Treasurer for the Turkstra Family Foundation. Anna Maria and her family have resided in Ancaster for the past 23 years.


Ms. Melissa Button

Ms. Button currently works as the Indigenous Education Lead for the Hamilton-Wentworth Catholic District School Board (HWCDSB). Ms. Button worked to implement, coordinate and sustain the native Youth Advancement with Education (NYA: WEH) program for over 14 years,
providing in her other role as the Indigenous Youth Advisor, a culturally based support program/environment for Indigenous students. In the past, she also worked for the Metis Nation of Ontario, and Hamilton’s Regional Indian Centre (HRIC) with the Strengthening Hamilton’s Aboriginal Education (SHAE) program. Ms. Button has 20 years of experience working with and collaborating with Hamilton’s Indigenous students, families, communities, and organizations. As a person of Indigenous ancestry, she believes she can contribute her voice, knowledge, and understanding of the historical, geographical and cultural needs and circumstances that have led to epidemic numbers of Indigenous children and youth in care.

Ms. Rosaline Dean

BOARD MEMBER Rosaline DeanRosaline has been with the Board since June 2016 and is a retired Professor from Mohawk College. Prior to working at Mohawk, Rosaline was a front line worker at both CCAS of Hamilton and CCAS of Toronto so has firsthand knowledge of the work of our agency. Rosaline has been an active community volunteer giving her time to organizations like the United Way, 2015 Pan Am games and is currently a member of the St. Joseph’s Refugee Committee. Rosaline is an active member of St. Joseph’s Parish in Hamilton and has been involved with many ministries at the church including as a longtime member of the choir. Rosaline and her husband John are the parents of three grown boys and live in south west Hamilton.

Mr. Konstantine Ketsetzis 

Mr. Ketsetzis is a Lawyer and Notary Public practicing in Hamilton with Pelech, Otto, Powell & Ketsetzis since 2014 and has recently joined Scarfone Hawkins. Mr. Ketsetzis has completed a Bachelor’s degree in Theology and attended law school in Melbourne, Australia, where he completed his law degree. Mr. Ketsetzis has significant experience and expertise relating to commercial law and civil litigation, real estate law (both commercial and residential), and employment law, in addition to complex family law and matrimonial litigation. Mr. Ketsetzis believes his faith and the teachings of Christ and the Church have guided him and believes that in providing services to Catholic families in Hamilton, we can turn to the teachings of the Church as our guiding hand, to provide the direction that these families need to build stronger homes and lives together. Mr. Ketsetzis believes that his background as a Theological graduate and lawyer will assist the strategic direction of the agency.

Ms. Antonietta (Toni) Kovach

BOARD MEMBER Toni KovachToni joined the Board of Directors in June 2014.  She is a Superintendent with the Hamilton Wentworth Catholic District School Board responsible for Special Education, Equal Opportunity Schools and Safe Schools within the Board. Toni and her husband live in Ancaster and are active members of the St. Catherine of Siena parish, where Toni is a Lector, Children’s Liturgy Leader and a past member of the Parish Council. In her time with the HWCDSB Toni has been a teacher, High School Vice-Principal, Elementary School Principal, Systems Principal of Services and Assistant Superintendent.

Ms. Deborah Lancaster

BOARD MEMBER Deborah LancasterDeborah joined the Board in June of 2012.  An active member of Corpus Christi Parish in Hamilton Deborah has been President of the CWL, Leader of the Parish Development and Peace Team, Lector and Parish organizer.  Deborah has been actively involved with other community activities and organizations including the CCAS as a volunteer with both the Serendipity Auction and the Golf Tournament.  Deborah is a Registered Holistic Nutritionist and an Instructor with Goodness Me.


Ms. Pascale Salloum

Ms. Salloum is the Principal /Directrice Académie catholique Mère Teresa since 2017. Ms. Salloum completed a Bachelor of Education and Journalism and has further studies in School Administration, Religious Studies, working with special needs children and career guidance and
training. Ms. Salloum has been working in education for numerous years. She is always trying to find innovative ideas for children to reach their potential in their educational journey. By acting as a pastoral liaison, Ms. Salloum developed her personal and spiritual knowledge, helping her to convey the Catholic values in her school. Ms. Salloum believes her experience as a French speaking educator, her years in working with children, youth and families, and her skill set are all assets for moving the Board’s agenda forward.

Mr. John Spatazzo

BOARD MEMBER John SpatazzoJohn joined the Board in June 2014 and is the Executive Director at the Catholic Youth Organization of the Diocese of Hamilton. John is in his 29th year with CYO. He has been an active volunteer in the community throughout his life and is currently involved with a number of organizations and committees at the Diocesan, local and provincial levels, focusing on the development and growth of children and youth. John is a lifelong member of St. Margaret Mary Parish in Hamilton. John and his wife currently live in Hamilton with their two sons.

Father David Wilhelm

wilhelmPicFather David Wilhelm is the diocesan representative appointed to the Board in June of 2017. Father Dave has been a priest for 34 years in the Diocese of Hamilton where he currently serves as Pastor of Our Lady of the Assumption Church in Stoney Creek. Father Dave has served as associate priest and pastor in various parishes in southern Ontario. In Hamilton he served as Rector of the Cathedral Basilica of Christ the King from 1992-2001. He served as an Elected Trustee on the Halton Catholic District School Board from 2003-2009 and was a Board Member on the Funeral Services Board of Ontario, which is now the Bereavement Authority of Ontario (BAO), from 2006-2009.

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