Board of Directors

The Hamilton/Burlington SPCA is governed by a 11 member Board of Directors made up of members of the Society.

Directors on the HBSPCA skills based Board have three major roles: developing shelter policy, making decisions about the HBSPCA future and its sustainability, and monitoring quality and financial performance.

Meet our 2019-20 Board of Directors

Deborah Brown, 1st Vice Chair
Deborah has held executive positions as both President and Executive Vice President in Canada and the U.S., of a leading multinational pharmaceutical company. Prior to this, she assumed successively more senior operational and management roles in marketing and sales, regulatory and government affairs, and research & development in the industry. From all of these experiences, Deborah has gained a deep understanding of how companies and individuals effectively translate strategy into results and has a passion for developing healthy organizations that sustainably deliver excellent and profitable services or goods.  Deborah did her undergraduate studies in biological and physical science then completed a Masters in Business Administration at the Ivey Business School. She has served on both private and public boards as a Board Member, executive committee member and Chair of the Board.  Deborah serves on the Development Committee of the HBSPCA and is an active member of multi-stakeholder Hamilton Community Cat Network championing spay neuter for street cats. She is a resident of Dundas, and currently is a Managing Partner for a healthcare consulting firm.

Kim Ciavarella, Treasurer 
Kim Ciavarella has been the Chief Executive Officer for Banyan Community Services since 2014.  She has 25+ years of financial management, leadership and organizational planning experience in both the private and public sectors including; Health care, children mental health services, youth justice and home and community support services. Over the past 20 years, Kim has held senior leadership roles in the not for profit sector that include President, CEO, COO, Director of Operations, Finance and Corporate Services. She has a proven track record of building strong community relationships and is a champion of quality, performance measurement, change and transitional management.
Kim’s community is her source of strength and has gratefully given back by serving as a volunteer board and committee member with John Howard Society and Idlewyld Manor. In addition Kim is a Reviewer for the Canadian Centre for Accreditation (CCA) and also serves on provincial advisory committee for the Ontario Community Support Association (OCSA).

Juanita Gledhill, Past Chair
Juanita Gledhill is an award winning Human Resources professional and dedicated community volunteer. She is Principal of MCC Group Inc., a strategic leadership and human resources consulting practice. Juanita works with governors and operational leaders to develop strategic and operational plans along with organizational effectiveness strategies to leverage the capacity and potential of an organization’s best resource – their people. Juanita has volunteered her HR and governance skills on several community boards and was delighted be invited to serve on the HBSPCA Board, where she can share her passion for ensuring our community includes pet ownership which is accessible, and support responsible care for all animals. Juanita, along with husband Greg and son Matthew are proud pet parents to Bentley, an Airedale. Bentley can often be found at one of our city’s off leash parks getting a party started!

Shannon McLean
Shannon is a lifelong Hamiltonian with a passion for helping others and animal advocacy. Shannon has served her community for the last 10 years as a member of the Hamilton Police Service where she currently holds the rank of Detective Constable with the Child Abuse Branch. Shannon’s dedication to volunteering goes back to 1993, when she began her work with the HBSPCA, back when it was originally located on Parkdale Avenue.

Shannon’s community outreach through her work as a police officer has created leadership workshops for young women and a successful reading program for children at an inner city school. Shannon brings with her a commitment to ensure all efforts are aligned with the Board’s mission, vision and values, while recognizing the great work of the employees and volunteers that help our animals thrive. Shannon is proud mom of Dude, a 16 year old tabby cat, and she is also a dedicated Chicken Mom, overseeing her growing flock of laying hens and roosters.

Trish Nelson
Trish is a communications professional with more than 20 years of experience in both the public and private sectors. She has developed her public relations expertise through progressively responsible positions in the health care, media, government, and performing arts disciplines. Trish understands the importance of community participation and the value of volunteerism to make our communities stronger. In addition to her current professional responsibilities as a Director of Communications with Ontario Health West, Trish has been volunteering at Ronald McDonald House for the past five years, has served as a board member and president of Hamilton’s Wellwood for eight years and has been a one-off volunteer at various community events and fundraisers.

Trish and her family share their Ancaster home with Belle. In February 2002, Jazz and Belle came to Trish as a rescued mum and newborn kitten. When Trish and her family said goodbye to Jazz in April 2020, Belle took over as head of the household and she continues to rule the roost!


Angela Papalia, 2nd Vice Chair
Angela is a lawyer, practicing estates and trusts law with SimpsonWigle LAW LLP. Prior to returning to her hometown of Hamilton to practice law in 2011, Angela worked and studied in Toronto, Australia, Malaysia and South Korea. Angela’s practice includes estate planning and administration, survivorship applications, Will challenges and defences, advising not for profit corporations and establishing trusts for families and for charitable objectives. Angela was a board member of the Hamilton Law Association’s New Lawyers Committee for 5 years and of CLiC, a subcommittee of the Art Gallery of Hamilton for 2 years. Both positions provided her with invaluable governance experience, and direct involvement with fundraising and event planning. Angela is passionate about animal welfare and has worked with a local dog rescue. In her spare time, Angela enjoys exploring Hamilton’s ever evolving restaurant industry and running throughout the Bruce Trail with Handsome Jack, who is a Boxer/American Bulldog cross.

Ryan Piper
Ryan is Vice President, Human Resources with Sheridan College which includes supporting the Board on governance matters.  He has been with Sheridan since 2007 in successively senior HR roles and was previously in the manufacturing sector.  Ryan has a HR Management Grad Certificate from Sheridan and a B.A. in Psychology from McMaster University. Ryan has a reputation as an effective communicator, trusted ally and respected problem-solver.  This is Ryan’s first experience as a Board member and he is excited for the opportunity to support the people committed to the welfare of animals through the HBSPCA.

Ryan resides in Ancaster with his wife and 19-month old son and grew up in rural Flamborough.  He has also lived in downtown Hamilton.  In his shrinking spare time Ryan enjoys live sports and music, softball, and seemingly endless rounds of fetch with Miley, his 5-year old border collie/lab/shepherd.

Emily Vis
Emily is a Project Manager at Mohawk College who works with Ontario Colleges to accelerate and support their ability to reduce their energy consumption and greenhouse gas emissions. Prior to this role, Emily managed business development at a local environmental non-profit that guides local businesses through the process of measuring and reporting their greenhouse gas emissions. Always an animal lover, she has been heavily involved in the Burlington Humane Society’s dog walking program since June 2016. This is Emily’s first experience on a Board; she is learning from her Director colleagues and contributes meaningfully to environmental issues as they affect the shelter site, and building renovations. She and her husband are the pet parents to Kirby, a 6 year old rescue Jack Russell. In her down time, you can find Emily reading, doing anything that gets her outside, or trying to teach herself how to sew.


Applying for the HBSPCA Board

There are 11 seats on the Board and terms are 3 years. Directors are expected to:

  • regularly attend Board meetings and related meetings;
  • participate actively in committee work;
  • actively champion the Society’s activities in the community; and
  • participate in fundraising for the organization.

According to our governing by-laws, directors must be members of the society in order to serve on the Board. More information on becoming a member is on the “Become a Member” page.

Members seeking a seat on the Board of Directors must apply. Experience in one or more of the following areas is an asset: fundraising/fund development, financial planning and analysis, program planning and analysis, advocacy, education/outreach, legal experience, public relations/marketing and/or previous Board experience.

HBSPCA Board Minutes & CEO Reports

August 2020 Board Minutes & CEO Report
July 2020 Board Minutes & CEO Report
June 2020 Board Minutes
May 2020 Board Minutes & CEO Report
April 2020 Board Minutes & CEO Report