Providing Dog Guides to Canadians with Disabilities
Board of Directors
The Board of Directors is instrumental in successfully leading Lions Foundation in its efforts to provide Dog Guides at no cost to Canadians with disabilities. Each member sits on the board for a three year term, with the exception of the Chairperson, who is voted in annually.

Executive Officers
  •  Andre Nimchuk
     Chairperson of the Board

    • Andre is a longtime supporter of the Lions Foundation and has served the organization in many ways. As the Director for Alberta and Northwest Territories, Andre is working to promote and secure funds for the six Dog Guide programs.
      "Dog Guides are important because they provide safety, independence and freedom to their recipients"

  •  Paul Gauthier
     Vice Chairperson, Director, Prince Edward Island

    • Paul Gauthier became a Lions club member in 2002. His club, Parkdale Sherwood Lions Club in Charlottetown, P.E.I., donated funds to sponsor a Dog Guide that year, and continues to donate each year, sponsoring a number of Dog Guide teams since. Paul considers it an honour to serve as Lions Foundation Director for P.E.I., and continues to promote the work of the organization, raising the funds in order to ensure more Canadians can receive a Dog Guide at no charge.
      "When someone is matched with a Dog Guide from Lions Foundation of Canada, it changes their life in such positive ways. They regain their independence, and also have a loyal companion."

  •  David Manning
     Treasurer, Director, Nova Scotia

    • This is David Manning’s second term on the board of directors. His first involvement with LFC began in the 1990’s when he was inspired hearing one of our CVC clients speak. He has since been Nova Scotia Director from 2004-07 and Chairperson following. He has been active organizing Walk for Dog Guides events. His motivation is strong and he has a great deal of knowledge about the school.
      "Dog Guides that are trained at the Lions Foundation of Canada can make such a great difference in a person’s life. As a Lion, I believe that supporting the programs at LFC ensures that we can continue the process of changing lives."

  •  Al Leach
     Secretary, Director, Ontario

    • In 2004, as a Lions Club president, Al took on the project of sponsoring a Canine Vision Dog Guide, and had the pleasure of attending the graduation ceremony of the team that year. He was "bitten" in the best way possible, as the ceremony captured the heart of what Lions Foundation can do for Canadians who need assistance.
      "The freedom a Dog Guide provides is another word for independence, hope and a sense of a normal life. I hope as a Director for Ontario, I can help spread the word about the incredible work of Lions Foundation"

  •  Margaret Laking
     Executive Member at Large, Director, New Brunswick

    • Margaret Laking became involved with both Lions Foundation of Canada and with Lions clubs when she met her husband, the late Jim (James) Laking in 1993. Jim was the recipient of a Canine Vision Dog Guide to help him navigate the world with blindness. Today, Margaret is hands-on in ensuring more Canadians can receive the gift of a Dog Guide, just like Jim had. She hosts an annual fundraiser, Raise the Woof, with her Lions club.
      "When a dog enters our life, it changes everything. Imagine how much a life can change with a Dog Guide. I want to help make that change happen, and what better way to do so than through Lions Foundation of Canada Dog Guides"

  •  Bill McKitrick
     Past Chairperson

    • Bill became involved with the Lions Foundation of Canada Dog Guides because he was interested in the many disabilities Dog Guide are trained to help with. He is dedicated to educating others about the Lions Foundation because he knows that greater awareness will result in helping more people live independently with a Dog Guide.
      "It is important to help others gain greater independence"

  •  Joanne Phillips
     Director, British Columbia & Yukon

    • Joanne has been a Lion for 14 years and the District Rep for Lions Foundation of Canada for three years. At the young age of eight, she was diagnosed with epilepsy, and knows first hand what will happen to her when she has a seizure as she was 20 years old before the right combination of medicine brought the epilepsy under control. While working at a restaurant, Joanne met a gentleman with a Seizure Response Dog Guide, and his story helped Joanne make the connection with Dog Guides and being a Lion. In 2015, Joanne and her husband DGE Brian travelled to the foundationís facility in Oakville for the orientation session. While attending this session, Joanne met many recipients of Dog Guides and heard their heartfelt stories. All these stories tugged at Joannes' heart and she knew, at that very moment that she wanted to help raise awareness for the Lions Foundation of Canada as she heard and saw the difference a Dog Guide makes in your life.
      "Dog Guides gives you a better quality of life by living your life to the fullest"

  •  Maureen Meston-Pockett
     Director, Saskatchewan

    • Maureen is a first year Director, who is a dedicated and passionate supporter of the Lions Foundation of Canada Dog Guide program. Her passions run deep with the Project Pride Program in which she travels around the schools in her district spreading the word to school children regarding this wonderful program on how lives are changed by Dog Guides.
      "Dogs may not be our whole life, but dogs can make our life whole."

  •  Mel Foat
     Director, Alberta & Northwest Territories

    • Mel Foat is not only a board member but is legally blind and a first time CVC Dog Guide handler. Besides his position as Director for Alberta and NWT, he is also Deputy Mayor of his home town of Chestermere, Alberta. Mel is a retired farmer, following his loss of sight 5 years ago. He loves to tell children and adults about the benefits of a Dog Guide.
      "I cannot even imagine my life without my Dog Guide Walker, the great Golden Lab."

  •  David Hollyoake
     Director, Manitoba & Northwest Ontario & Nunavut

    • Dave (a Lion since 1974) first became aware of LFC from his father who was a District Governor in 1984 and he became a director for LFC in 1986. Dave reconnected with them after settling in Winnipeg and started to attend & work at the Walk for Dog Guides in Winnipeg, then when he began his run for District Governor in 2010 he knew that LFC was to be one of his charities of choice. The DGE visit in June 2012 put it all into perspective for him and the knowledge that we can help individuals through the Foundation was truly rewarding. As a director he will continue to increase awareness in the area for this very worthwhile program.
      "The best way to find yourself is to lose yourself in the service of others, I hope to help our area further the program for Dog Guides"

  •  Richard Dufour
     Director, Quebec

    • Richard became involved with Lions Foundation after a fellow member of his Lions club received a Dog Guide. Attending the graduation ceremony convinced him that he could help others by raising awareness of Lions Foundation’s programs, promoting the organization’s mission in his home province of Quebec. Together with his club, he is dedicated to working on community efforts fighting blindness, promoting active living, as well as Dog Guides’ programs.
      "Attending a graduation ceremony showed me that I could be helping more people receive a Dog Guide by actively promoting our school. I’m very proud to serve as a Lion for the Foundation."

  •  Penny Pike
     Director, Newfoundland & Labrador

    • Coming soon.
      "Coming soon."