Amanda Duncombe-Lee, Program Coordinator Amanda is our Program Coordinator, responsible for project development, promotion, and supervision and for the overall day to day effective operation of U-Links. Amanda grew up in the Haliburton Highlands and obtained an undergraduate degree in social sciences from University of Toronto. She has a professional certificate in Public Policy and Governance, Public Administration from the University of Victoria and recently completed a professional certificate in Non-Profit Leadership for Impact at the University of Toronto School of Continuing Studies. She has worked at various non-profit organizations in Ontario, British Columbia and Edinburgh, Scotland in coordination, administration and management roles, and is an occasional freelance writer. She enjoys travel, photography and adventuring with her two young sons.
Daniela Pagliaro, Administration & Logistics Coordinator Daniela is our Administration and Research Coordinator. She helps make U-Links hum along smoothly by providing support for operations, logistics, financial management, and program delivery. Daniela is a long-time resident of Haliburton County and has a lifetime of experience working in a leadership role in the arts and culture sector as well as in social services in rural and First Nations communities. Daniela loves travel and adventure and has recently returned to Canada after living and working in Zhuhai, China. One of her greatest adventures was sailing across the Indian Ocean on a 150 ft sailing vessel with Captain Peter Willcox, legendary Greenpeace captain of the Rainbow Warrior.
Brendan Martin, Aquatic & Terrestrial Biomonitoring Project Coordinator Brendan is our Aquatic and Terrestrial Biomonitoring Project Coordinator. He works with post-secondary students and local organizations to determine the health of our lakes and forests. He has a Bachelor of Environmental Studies majoring in Environment and Resource Studies from the University of Waterloo and an Environmental Technologist Diploma from Sir Sanford Fleming College. He has worked with multiple conservation authorities across Southern Ontario in various environmental monitoring roles encompassing wetland evaluation, fisheries assessment, and water chemistry. He received his Ontario Benthos Biomonitoring Network certification in 2015 and has since become a Society of Freshwater Sciences certified taxonomist. He enjoys camping, traveling with his friends and family, and running Dungeons and Dragons games for his friends.
Mystaya Touw, Research Associate Mystaya is pursuing a Master’s degree in Sustainability Studies at Trent University, focusing on issues of shoreline health and stewardship in Ontario's cottage country. She also completed her Bachelor of Science in Environmental and Resource Science at Trent University in 2017. During this time, she participated in community-based research in Haliburton County through coursework and summer employment with the CHA for the Love Your Lake Program in 2016. Mystaya's role as a U-Links Research Associate includes being an on-campus presence at Trent University, supervising some of the student projects for the year, writing projects, and other initiatives that support the Community-Based Education Program.
Meet Our Management Committee Members
Jim Blake, Co-Chair Jim is currently the Community Economic Development Consultant for the Haliburton County Development Corporation, Curator of the Haliburton Sculpture Forest, the Program Consultant for the Arts Council ~Haliburton County, and a part-time faculty member at the Fleming College, Haliburton Campus with the Haliburton School of The Arts. Jim is the co-founder and president of the Haliburton County Community Co-operative and co-founder and co-chair of the management committee member of the U-Links Centre for Community-Based Research in Haliburton County. He served as a member of the advisory committee for the Haliburton School of The Arts from 2006 to 2009. In the spring of 2007, Jim was awarded the Fleming College Fellowship in Applied Education. Jim studied fine art at University of Guelph, York University and the New School of Art and exhibited his work as a visual artist from 1976 to 1984. He holds degrees in Psychology and Education from York University.
Larry Clarke, Co-Chair Larry is a Councillor with the Municipality of Dysart et al, and self-employed (part time) as a business services advisor, helping companies improve management of their expenses, assets and operations. Larry’s background includes project and general management in support of development and change for financial, legal and government clients. This has included technology strategies and project management in support of business operations and administration systems; professional services coordination and management and systems and business contingency planning and development. Since moving to the Minden area, Larry has been an active member and director with the Chamber of Commerce, and enjoys participating in community and cultural events. Larry has a Bachelor of Environmental Studies from the University of Waterloo, and has also received certifications in Project Management and IT Service Management.
Norm Thomas Norm is a retired United Church minister having come to the Haliburton area several years ago. During his career, Norm participated in a variety of community development processes, and gave leadership to the formation of the Riverdale Community Organization. Norm began his ministry in Northern Ontario (Swastika) and continued to serve the Church in Edmonton, Alberta, Toronto, Ontario, and Calgary, Alberta. During the last twenty years of his work, Norm was hired as a New Church Developer. Since his retirement, Norm has served the church in a variety of interim appointments. Since coming to Minden, he has involved himself in a variety of Boards and Committees, and hopes to continue to contribute to the Haliburton community development process as the opportunities arise.
Tom Whillans Tom has been a member of the U-Links Management Committee since its inception. Between 1989 and 2003 with John Wadland he created the Haliburton Bioregional Project -- a senior Trent University course that served as the foundation for U-Links. Tom has been a professor at Trent University since 1983, nine of those years as as Chair of the Environmental and Resource Science/Studies Program. He works on community-based engagement with wetlands and fisheries, ecological restoration, Great Lakes environmental management, and was involved for 10 years in the development of an Ecuadorian/Andean network on integrated watershed management.
Marie Gage Marie joined the U-Links Management committee in 2000 and has remained connected to the committee since that time in roles of member, Chair, and official link between the Trent Centre for Community-Based Education and U-Links at various times. Marie and her husband, Don, owned Willow Beach Cottages from August 1996 to November 2009. She graduated with a degree in Occupational Therapy in 1976 and Masters in Science (Occupational Therapy) in 1992. Until May 2008 she also practiced in her professional capacity in Haliburton County. Marie is now officially retired, but looking for new opportunities to contribute to the community.
Jeanne Anthon Is is a past Councillor in Minden Hills, and has served in the past as Reeve and Warden. She has been the President (4 yrs) of the Federation of Ontario Cottagers’ Assocs., 6 yrs on the Grant Review Team for the Trillium Foundation, 9 yrs on the Haliburton Highlands Health Services Board (2 yrs as chair) and 14 yrs with Haliburton County Community Care. She is a founding member of U-Links, Haliburton Stewardship Council and Haliburton Highlands Land Trust. Jeanne hails from Mississauga where she was President of the Mississauga City Centre Opera and a Director of the Mississauga Arts Council. She was chosen Highlander of the Year in 2004, Senior of the Year Minden Hills 2007 among several recognitions. Jeanne has been a member of the Rotary Club of Minden for 25 yrs and continues to serve on numerous community committees.
Patrick Walshe Patrick is a proud Trent graduate with a long career in the marketing communication business providing customer acquisition / retention and communication planning strategy counsel to clients and media owners. Patrick spent the last years of his career providing consulting / implementation counsel to companies specializing in digital media, mobile media, direct response media, response technology, performance and analytic measurement. Patrick was engaged by traditional and digital media companies to consult on mobile media and content strategies, by a technology company to sell high-end software applications, and a leading research company to develop and sell the first Canadian mobile usage research study. Patrick also worked with a major not-for-profit to create and execute a successful media sponsorship program.
Emily Stonehouse Emily is the Economic Development, Destination and Marketing Officer for the Township of Minden Hills, as well as the supervisor for the Minden Hills Cultural Centre. She graduated from the University of Ottawa with a Specialization in Communications Studies before continuing her education at Memorial University, focusing on History and Indigenous Studies. Dabbling in intermittent adventures during her post-secondary education, Emily has called nearly every province across Canada “home” – from British Columbia to Newfoundland and everywhere in between. After exploring parts of North and South America, Emily returned to Haliburton County, where she completed a certificate in Digital Image Design from Haliburton School of Art and Design. Since graduating, Emily has been involved in volunteer coordination, experiential tourism management, local theatre productions, is a regularly-published author for Ontario Tourism Organization, and was nominated for Young Professional of the Year in 2018. Emily is excited to be contributing to her hometown, and is consistently inspired by the doers and dreamers of rural communities.
Bob Carter Picture and bio coming soon!
Eric Sager Picture and bio coming soon!
Beatrice Kowalska Beatrice Kowalska currently works as the Research and Evaluation Coordinator at the Haliburton, Kawartha, Pine Ridge (HKPR) District Health Unit. Beatrice has completed her Bachelor of Medical Sciences in Honors Biochemistry, Bachelor of Science in Nursing, and Master of Public Health. Since then, Beatrice has enjoyed the challenges of creating and supporting individual and community-specific health related programs. Specifically, Beatrice has worked as a staff nurse in acute and long-term care settings; in public health for First Nations and Inuit Health Branch (FNIHB) at Health Canada with Northern Alberta First Nations communities; as a Community Health Nurse with individuals and families who were homeless or at-risk of being homeless; in public health with urban and rural communities in Ontario; and has volunteered as a nurse and educator in Ecuador and Peru. Since 2017, Beatrice has been the Chair of the HKPR District Health Unit Evaluation and Research Committee and Co-Lead for the Substance Use Locally Driven Collaborative Project (provincial research project). Beatrice is a member of the Canadian Evaluation Society, Ontario Public Health Evaluation Network (OPHEN), and Regional Planning and Evaluation Network. Beatrice joined U-Links Management Committee in 2018 and is privileged to support community-based research in Haliburton County.