Board of Directors
Joan Pennefather - President and Member
Born and raised in Montreal and fluently bilingual, Joan has been a resident of Prince Edward County since 2006. She is very grateful to have this opportunity to give back to the community by working with the Foundation and all the wonderful people who make up this community. Joan also served for a number of years on the Board of Festival Players of Prince Edward County and is currently part of the PEC Syria group. Her career includes heading the National Film Board of Canada and the National Arts Centre. She was appointed to the CRTC as a National Commissioner in 1998 and served there until 2007. Joan is currently a mediator and facilitator with certificates in conflict resolution and mediation from the South-Eastern Mediation Centre at Queen's. As a volunteer, she has served on the Boards of the Sisters of Charity of Ottawa Health Services, the Perley Rideau Veterans Health Services, and the Rideauwood Addiction and Family Services in Ottawa, as well as Canadian Women in Communications and the Harold Greenberg Fund.
Brian Beiles - Treasurer and Member
For over 30 years, Brian has focused his business, consulting and training efforts on helping organizations become more effective in serving their customers, employees and shareholders. His experience has been in a wide variety of industries, where he has also held a number of senior financial and general management positions. Brian is a C.A., holds an M.B.A., and is on faculty with Loyalist College, where he conducts both consulting engagements and in-house management training programs. Brian moved to the County with his wife Sandra Goranson in 2005. Since then, he has served as Vice Chair on the Board of the Arts Council and as a member and Chair of the Jazz Festival Committee. He is very pleased to now be contributing to addressing key areas of need in the County.
Lesley Lavender - Member
Lesley Lavender started her career in the fast paced Toronto advertising market, learning the ropes and honing her impressive networking, marketing and design skills. Lesley and her husband, Tod returned to The County in 2001, settling in Tod’s home town of Wellington, where they operate several family businesses and are raising their young family. Aware of the trending shift from traditional print to web based marketing, Lesley focused on applying her considerable skills to web design and development. Her solid business background and experience is evident in her web and print work, as she creates unique, beautiful design, without losing sight of context and functionality. Lesley is a member of her children’s School Council and is active with the Prince Edward County Minor Hockey Association. As a long-time billet home for players on the Wellington Dukes Junior ‘A’ Hockey Club, Lesley has a strong connection with the youth and community organizations of The County. She is a coach in the County Clippers Basketball organization and is the Community Resource Development Coordinator with ROC in Picton. Lesley is also a certified Doula and has assisted in the births of many babies. Lesley brings youthful point of view, energy and contagious good humour to any situation.
Lenny Epstein - Member
Lenny Epstein is a filmmaker, producing, directing and writing several documentary and fiction productions which have screened at festivals and been broadcast nationally. A resident of Prince Edward County, he is an entrepreneur and principal of Epstein Creative, providing commercial video production for a wide spectrum of clients across several disciplines. He taught film and media studies at Queen's University, as well as music and digital media at St. Lawrence College. He continues to volunteer in the community and has contributed his energy to organizations such as the Bloomfield Centre for Creativity and the PEC Soccer Association. Lenny was elected to the Municipal Council of Prince Edward County representing Picton. Lenny is also representative of the Prince Edward County Municipal Council on the Board of Directors.
Shauna Seabrook - Member
Shauna Seabrook has spent the last 20 years advancing the missions, raising profiles and increasing support for not for profit organizations through philanthropic fundraising and revenue generating initiatives. Shauna was Director of Development at Harbourfront Centre, Canada’s largest centre for contemporary culture, and is curently Director of Campaigns for the Toronto General and Western Hospital Foundation, responsible for raising philanthropic support for the McEwen Centre for Regenerative Medicine. In addition to her work experience, she dedicated 10 years as a volunteer board member of Sketch – working arts studios for street involved youth and is currently the Treasurer and volunteer Board Member of Festival Players in Prince Edward County, marrying her passion for the arts with her new found love of the County. Shauna and her partner launched SHED an alpaca farm located on Closson Road in 2014 with plans to create an Agritourism business along the Taste trail.
Anne Brzozowski - Member
Anne first visited Prince Edward County as a toddler, never dreaming that forty-five years later, she would call The County home. Or that in 2002, she would discover that her great-great uncle had married a granddaughter of United Empire Loyalist, Colonel Hilldebrand Valleau. Connections, new and old, unite a community, and to play a part in strengthening those ties by working with The County Community Foundation, is a wonderful opportunity. A career writer, Anne has an Honours Bachelor of Journalism degree from Carleton University and 25 years’ experience as a novelist and freelance writer. She has served on a number of volunteer boards including The May Court Club of Ottawa, the Ottawa Independent Writers and the Ottawa/Hull Film & Television Association; she was founder and co-president of Women in Film and Television, Ottawa/Hull and served as a trustee on the BBS (CJOH TV) program development fund until moving to Prince Edward County in 2000. She lives with her husband, Richard Brzozowski, in a lovingly-renovated 1860s farmhouse on the Closson Road.
Shirley Lewchuk - Member
A health care professional by training, Shirley Lewchuk transitioned into a career spending over 30 years in policy, program, and communication roles addressing education, culture, and environment issues. A strong focus of her work has been the coordination and development of initiatives that involve different interest groups and levels of government. Her most recent positions included roles with Ryerson University, The Department of Foreign Affairs Canada and the Government of Ontario. A strong supporter of local community, Shirley has been involved in initiatives for emerging filmmakers, Big Sister’s Association and local cultural groups. A long time visitor to the county, Shirley recently made Prince Edward County her permanent home, where she continues to pursue her passions in film, art, food and community development.
Beth Easton - Member
Beth Easton, MA, has over twenty-five years experience in the non-profit sector working in Canada and internationally in such areas as reproductive health, AIDS and cancer. With 15 years in executive positions, Beth most recently led grant-making, research, health promotion, and communications strategies for a national health charity.Proud of her family’s history in the County – her father was raised on a farm in West Lake, while her grandmother’s family settled and farmed in the Wellington area – she and her spouse became part time residents, before moving to Picton full-time in 2016. In addition to a growing consulting practice that includes coaching and organization development, Beth is an artist; trained as a clown, she writes and performs, including in the County’s own improv and comedy troupe “Taste That”.
Christine Winiarz Searle - Member
Attracted to and inspired by Lake Ontario island lifestyle, Christine Winiarz Searle moved to Prince Edward County in 2014 after over 30 years of experience in the federal public service. Born and raised in Winnipeg, Christine began her career conducting audits and performance evaluations of organizations supported by government grants. Mid-career, she gained valuable experience at Western Economic Diversification Canada developing and delivering programs that financed small businesses, institutes and organizations in rural and Aboriginal communities. At Industry Canada in Ottawa, Christine successfully influenced the evolution of Canadian policy frameworks to control the paperwork burden that faces entrepreneurs and inhibits small business growth. A CPA, CMA, and avid sailor, Christine has held voluntary board positions at Sail Canada, Ontario Sailing and the Nepean Sailing Club, focusing her efforts on improving financial management establishing good governance frameworks. Christine is currently a citizen member of the Prince Edward County Community and Economic Development Commission, Treasurer on the 99.3 County FM Board of Directors and Chair of the By-laws Committee for the Wellington on the Lake Residents Association. Through her consulting practice, WindSea Governance Inc., she continues to help non-profit boards in the sport, recreation and cultural tourism sectors shape appropriate governance frameworks and align resources to realize strategic outcomes. By joining the Foundation Board, Christine looks forward to contributing her expertise to benefit those in need throughout the County.
Carol Penhale - Member
(On Leave of Absence)
Carol Penhale is founder and Principal of Bedford Park Associates, a consulting firm that works on technology and operations optimization for financial services firms in Canada, the U.S., and Europe. When not travelling, Carol splits her time between homes and activities in Toronto and Prince Edward County. Carol's background is in investment management, corporate finance, technology management, software development, property management and she has owned two restaurants, amongst other segues in her career. She has sat on the Boards of private, charitable and public-listed companies as well as several advisory boards to conferences in financial services where she is a regular speaker on industry issues. Carol has degrees from the University of Toronto, the Edinburgh University and the Institute for Computer Studies.