Board

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.

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STEPHEN BEDFORD (Secretary)

Urban Planner, Niagara-on-the-Lake, ON

As a local community planning and management consultant, and graduate of the University of Waterloo in Urban and Regional Planning, Stephen focuses on collaboratively moving communities and organizations forward. Stephen led innovative heritage planning programs as Commissioner of Development Services in Oshawa, ON and Saint John, NB, and as Planning Director in Pickering and Development Manager in St. Catharines. Stephen most recently applied his wide range of experience as Director of Planning for the Town of Niagara-on-the-Lake, assisting in the development of the community.

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.

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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 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; and 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 designation, 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.

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LORRI GILLANDERS

Proprietor, Grace House B&B, Niagara-on-the-Lake, ON

Lorri Gillanders grew up in Niagara and attended the University of Waterloo in Systems Design Engineering. Her career has included positions of specific technology expertise, program and business management at IBM, Digital Equipment and Cisco Networks. The majority of Lorri’s professional experience was in Vancouver, where she was a member of the Vancouver Board of Trade and a successful Chairman of SDSS fundraising for DryGrad for 2 consecutive years. She briefly represented Cisco on the fundraising committee of the Board of the Vancouver Opera. Lorri considers her primary strengths to be in managing diverse businesses, and delivering programs on time/on budget.   She sees as particularly important clear, effective communications. Throughout her career she has been successful in building strong teams, business planning and attaining financial targets. Lorri has always had a passion for architecture and building, and comes from a family of educators. She moved to Niagara on the Lake in 2014, bought and restored the Circa 1825 Grace House in the Old Town, where she currently runs a small bed and breakfast. Lorri is an avid cook, traveller, sailor, and terrible golfer.

PATRICK J. DEVINE

Founding Partner, Devine Park LLP, Toronto, ON

Patrick grew up in Beamsville and has resided part-time in Niagara-on-the-Lake for the past 10 years.  He practices planning and development law in Toronto and is a founder of Devine Park LLP, Planning and Development Lawyers.  His education includes a J.D. (Doctor of Jurisprudence) from the University of Toronto and a B.A. from Glendon College, York University, specializing in history.  He is certified by the Law Society of Ontario as a specialist in Municipal Law (Land Use Planning and Development).  In his professional capacity, Patrick assists landowners in achieving approvals for significant development and redevelopment projects.  Working with some of the country’s most prominent property owners and institutions, he is very experienced both at a local level and on appeals to the province’s planning court, the Ontario Municipal Board.  Patrick is named by Lexpert as one of the most frequently recommended property development lawyers and is recognized in The Lexpert/American Lawyer Guide to the 500 Leading Lawyers in Canada.

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.

NIGEL MOLARO, FRCGS

Project Manager, Cultural Heritage Planning, ERA Architects, Toronto, ON (Alumnus 2015)

Nigel is a conservation practitioner working to renew places of cultural significance. As a graduate of Willowbank, he works at the intersection of diverse disciplines, and with both the tangible and intangible dimensions of heritage. Nigel's portfolio ranges from developing design principles for the rehabilitation of Canada's parliament building in Ottawa, to preserving the parliament building’s stone towers, to articulating the cultural value of Toronto's iconic Kensington Market. He has contributed to projects for properties, districts and campuses in Toronto, Ottawa, Hamilton, Kingston and Halifax. Nigel's perspective is broadened through earlier experience at the intersection of government, business and nonprofits, across Canada and around the world. He holds a degree in communications from the University of Ottawa and has also undertaken language, culture and conservation studies overseas. For his voluntary service, Nigel has received the Sovereign's Medal for Volunteers, the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal and the Saskatchewan Centennial Medal, and he is also a Fellow of the Royal Canadian Geographical Society.

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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.