Willowbank’s Board of Directors is a distinguished group of local and international representatives who provide the staff and students with a broad range of expertise and experience.

Emily Bright

Home Economist, Sears Canada, Virgil, ON

Emily was a member of the Niagara South/Lincoln County School Boards and taught at Niagara College before becoming a full time consultant in 1987. Her contracts have included media promotion for the Niagara Film Festival, Sears Canada, Beckett Technologies Inc. and LG Electronics. She is a published author and newspaper columnist, and was a Library Board Advisor in Niagara-on-the-Lake. Emily was an active volunteer with the Niagara Falls Memorial Medical Centre, the Big Brothers/Big Sisters Foundation, and was President of the Ridley College Women’s Guild.

Clinton Brown

Heritage Architect, Clinton Brown Company Architecture, FAIA, Buffalo, NY, USA

Clinton is a graduate of Franklin & Marshall College, the Institute for Architecture and Urban Studies and the University of Virginia School of Architecture. He founded Clinton Brown Company Architecture. Clinton is a member of the Board of the Richardson Center Corporation that is rehabilitating the former Richardson Olmsted Asylum Complex in Buffalo and its Buffalo Architecture Center. He is a commissioner of the Erie Canalway National Heritage Corridor Commission having been appointed by three Secretaries of the Interior. Clinton was involved in creating the New York State Historic Tax Credit program. His firm has surveyed more than 18,000 potential heritage resources and nominated more than 8,000 for heritage designations, including the Elmwood Historic District in Buffalo, one of the largest historic districts in the US, where nearly 2,600 property owners can access historic tax credits.

Vikki Urban Broer

Program Officer, Burton D. Morgan Foundation, Bratenahl, OH, USA

Vikki works as a program officer for the Burton D. Morgan Foundation in Cleveland, Ohio, a foundation which champions the entrepreneurial spirit in Northeast Ohio. Vikki has a background in International Relations and has a keen interest in educational development. She has served as Head of School at the Montessori High School at University Circle in Cleveland OH, and is active on many other boards, including the Cleveland Botanical Garden/Holden Arboretum and the Bratenahl Planning Commission. Vikki is also a descendant of the Bright family, which owned the Willowbank Estate for nearly 30 years.

Sasha Knight, ‘14

Construction and Finishing Carpenter, Nestworks  Construction Ltd

Sasha grew up in Mannheim, Ontario where he lived in a heritage stone house designated under Part IV of the Ontario Heritage Act. He learned at an early age how to restore and maintain the building’s architectural features and took a natural interest into carpentry and masonry. After completing an Honours Bachelor of Arts degree in History and Archaeology at Wilfrid Laurier University and working in the archaeological consulting field for five years, he stumbled upon Willowbank’s diploma program and decided to refocus his career into carpentry and the restoration of older buildings. His tutelage under Julian Smith and Paul Jacobsen completely changed his perspective around the concept of ‘heritage’ with the realization that cultural places are prone to evolve as their uses and the way people value them change over time. After graduating from Willowbank in 2014, he spent time working on a variety of heritage projects across England, Southwestern Ontario and British Columbia. He is currently a carpenter working in Vancouver where he engages much of his skill in renovation and newbuild construction projects within the Point Grey and Kitsilano areas. He has taken an interest in learning about sustainable and energy efficient construction methods and how they can be applied to heritage buildings while also navigating the complicated realm of current building codes and by-laws. He recently finished his Level 2 Carpentry Apprenticeship and is actively working toward his Red Seal.

David Labbe

Native Liaison Officer,  Niagara Detention Centre

My Canadian name is David Labbe and I am of mixed ancestry. ​​

I have Innu from Labrador and Quebec with Romanian and a sprinkling of Quebecois. ​

I was born in 1949, but it wasn’t until the 1970s that I took any interest in Indigenous culture, and though I was learning bits and pieces I never got serious until 1973.  I continued my own journey until the early 1990s when I attended a meeting at the Fort Erie Native Friendship Centre. I started working there in 1995 and just retired there last March. During that time, I have worked in a variety of capacities with the last three positions since 2004 as Addictions Counsellor, Kizhaay Anishinaabe niin Worker, and lastly as Community Mental Health Support Worker. Currently I have taken a part time position at the Niagara Detention Centre as the Native Inmate Liaison Officer.

H. A. Patrick Little, Chair of the Board

Senior Partner, Heelis, Little & Almas, LLP, St. Catharines, ON

Patrick is Chair of the Board of Directors. He began his legal career with the City of St. Catharines in 1976, and entered private practice in 1979, concentrating his efforts in the areas of administrative, municipal and criminal law, government relations, real estate development and wills and estates. Patrick has served the community as the President/Chair of several organizations, including the Lincoln County Law Assocation, St. Catharines Chamber of Commerce and St. Catharines Club and as Director of the St. Catharines General Hospital, St. Catharines Downtown Association, St. Catharines Museum and St. Catharines Golf Club. He is a past Chair of the United Way of St. Catharines and District, past President of Croquet Canada, Chair of several organizing committees for the Tall Ships visits to Port Dalhousie. He is also an Honourary Trustee of Trinity College, University of Toronto and former Governor of Trinity College School, Port Hope.

Elizabeth Oliver-Malone, M.D.

FRCPC Retired Anesthesiologist, Niagara-on-the-Lake, ON

Elizabeth was born and raised in Southern Ontario. She graduated in Medicine from the University of Toronto in 1957 (M.D.) and achieved specialty in Anesthesiology in 1964 (FRCPC). Elizabeth was on staff at Toronto General Hospital before moving to Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Barbados. She returned to work in Toronto and St. Catharines before retiring to Niagara-on-the-Lake with her late husband Dr. Ralph Malone, (OB/GYN). Her avocations include history, heritage and museum volunteering. Influenced by Willowbank Founder Laura Dodson, she joined the Col. Butler Parkette committee. She was invited by Laura Dodson to join the Willowbank Board in 2002, and to serve on the Archives, Collections & Library committee which she currently chairs. Her notable accomplishments include helping the Niagara Historical Museum curate the permanent exhibit of the United Empire Loyalists Beginnings of Butlersbury, which includes the Hamilton family of Willowbank. Elizabeth is a member and artifact contributor to the Barbados Museum, St. Kitts / Nevis Museum, Jordan Pioneer Museum of the Twenty and Doon Pioneer Village Museum at Kitchener among others.

Frank Racioppo

Founding Partner, RZCD Law Firm LLP, President of Queenston Quarry Reclamation Company Ltd., Niagara-on-the-Lake, ON

Frank is active in the community as a real estate developer, constructor and lawyer. He practices real estate and development law and is founder of RZCD Law Firm, a full service firm with offices in Mississauga, Kingston and Niagara-on-the-Lake. His academic career includes a B.Comm. from the University of Toronto, and MBA and LL.B from the University of Windsor. Frank has a passion for building and architecture and was the founder and construction consultant for the restoration of the historic Coliseum at Exhibition Place, Toronto. He served on the Board of the Living Arts Centre, Mississauga and was a member of the Committees of Adjustment and Land Division for the Region of Peel. Since moving to Niagara-on-the-Lake in 1999 Frank has been active in the Niagara building community. Currently, he is President and co-owner of Queenston Quarry Reclamation Company, which is in the process of rehabilitating and developing the Queenston Quarry, a national historic quarry on the Escarpment in Niagara-on-the-Lake.

Chloe Richer

After a Call for Applications in Summer 2019, Willowbank is pleased to welcome Chloe Richer, Class of 2018, as inaugural Alumni Chair for 2019-2020. For a one-year term, Chloe will serve in an ex-officio capacity on the Board of Directors, helping to foster Willowbank’s network of talented graduates and to oversee Willowbank’s dynamic range of programming. Chloe’s career has spanned Toronto, Waterloo and St. Catharines, where she works as a municipal heritage planner, as well as Hamilton, where she is active in the Bartonville neighbourhood association. The new role of Alumni Chair complements the continuing participation of alumni as full members of the Board of Directors. 

John FT Scott

Past Chair, Board of Governors, Niagara College

John F.T. Scott is an economist, consultant and speaker specializing in the Food Distribution and Retail sector.  He is the former CEO of Canada’s largest retail grocery association (The Canadian Federation of Independent Grocers), a position he held for 23 years.  He currently analyzes strategies and frequently speaks on Canada’s food industry to public and private companies, government, trade associations, universities, processing groups and primary producers.    He is renowned for weaving the preferences of the evolving consumer into the dynamics of the industry.

John is an experienced Director and holds the ICD.D designation from the Institute of Corporate Directors.  He is the Immediate Past Chair of the both the Board of Governors of Niagara College and the Board of Directors of the Canadian Agri- Food Policy Institute (CAPI).    He also served as Chair of the acclaimed Vineland Research and Innovation Centre during its formative years. John is a former Director of the Alberta Livestock and Meat Agency (ALMA) and a Past Chair of Markham Stouffville Hospital.   He currently serves on several industry Boards including Food Retail Firms in Ontario and British Columbia and Chairs the North American Division of Monaghan Mushrooms. 

John is one of only four individuals to have received both of the highest recognitions in Canada’s retail food industry – the Golden Pencil (Hall of Fame) and the Spirit of the Independent Award (Inspiration to Entrepreneurs in the Grocery Industry).

John and Michelle have raised three accomplished young people and are blessed with five grandchildren.  They live in Niagara on the Lake, Ontario.