Meet The Team

STAFF

Barb Weeden

Executive Director

Barb Weeden is the Executive Director for EFL and joined the leadership team in December of 2018. She is so honored to be a part of this amazing organization and community that brings joy and purpose into the lives of those that need it the most. Barb reports to a very committed Board of Directors who trust and believe in the work she does.

 

Barb is from New Hamburg ON and spent most weekends growing up at her grandparent’s farm on top of Blue Mountain. She went to school for Outdoor Recreation and is certified with the Academy of Leadership Development. Before moving to Craigleith in 2016, Barb spent 22 years at Seneca College in King City where she developed her business and administration skills. She managed the Outdoor Leadership Centre and Community Recreation Programs at two campuses and spent her summers directing the outdoor adventure camp, KDC, that she founded in 1993. Barb has extensive leadership and team development experience which has taken her to Costa Rica, Guyana, California, and the West Coast of Canada.

 

After Seneca Barb was recruited to be the General Manager for the Tim Horton’s Foundation Camp in St. George ON. As a NFP organization, fundraising was a large part of this role. She worked closely with the Tim Horton Restaurant Owners in the GTA to facilitate large fundraising events for the Foundation.

Barb has always been involved in the community where she has lived. Since moving to the TBM’s Barb volunteered to help organize two large gala events for BVO and BBBS at Lora Bay and the Georgian Vineyards respectfully. In 2020, Barb sat on the TBM Leisure Activity Planning Committee and is currently a Director for the TBM Chamber of commerce. Barb is a 4th generation Blue girl and is so happy to be living, recreating and working in the Town of the Blue Mountains with her EFL family.

Shelley Higginson

Program Director
Shelley Higginson is the Founder and Program Director at Events for Life Centre. (EFL) Starting in the summer of 2013, Shelley had a vision and together with two friends, began this “grass roots organization” at her farm in Meaford. Shelley realized that once students with special needs graduated from high school at the age of 21, there wasn’t anything for them to do. For two summers Shelley ran a summer program providing recreational activities, social skills and lifelong learning for the students. The word got out, the numbers went up and the program expanded to the basement of the United Church in Thornbury. In 2017 EFL became Incorporated as a Not for Profit charity as was generously gifted the use of the farm house, garage/workshop and use of the trails at Beaver Creek Farms in Thornbury. Shelley has an extensive background and certifications in special education. Formally trained as an Educational Assistant at Georgian College, she has worked as an EA at Georgian Bay Secondary School, supporting youth with special needs in skill development and academic improvement. Shelley represents the architect for progressive growth. She has enhanced program offerings and established community partnerships, while pivoting with grace and integrity to ensure that each individual participants and their family members are respected and honoured for their unique strengths, gifts, and lifestyle. Shelley manages 2 full time staff, occasional part-time staff, seasonal coop students and trains over 30 volunteers from the local community. By completing the Crestcom International Bullet Proof Management course Shelley has, elevated her leadership expertise and enhanced communication for continuous improvement and growth. Shelley continues to live on her farm with her husband and enjoys spending time with her grandchildren Bo and Blake. Shelley is living proof that when you have a vision and are driven to succeed, dreams to come true.

Brenda Topham

Assistant Program Director
Brenda has a background in the education field as an Educational Assistant. Brenda is a calm and compassionate person and she brings these qualities to the EFL program. She has seen the need for programs like EFL in our community and jumped at the opportunity to be part of the program. She finds it to be one of the most rewarding experiences in her career of helping people with special needs.

Jeannette Taylor

Assistant Program Director

Jeannette Taylor brings a wealth of experience to EFL and is a great asset to our staff team.  Jeannette worked as an Education Assistant with the Simcoe Board of Education before joining EFL.  Jeannette has been teaching our participants American Sign Language and has choreographed songs which the participants love.  It is now an integral part of our weekly activities.  Jeannette commutes from Wasaga Beach where she lives with her family.

Katrina Scott

Office Manager
Katrina has spent the last 11 years raising her two boys and the last 4 of them being the part-time Office Manager at The Bowering Lodge and Eagle Maxadventures. Katrina has lived in the community of Thornbury for 30+ years and loves to see how it has come together to support EFL. Prior to having children, Katrina volunteered at a turtle refuge and hostel in Costa Rica, the Georgian Bay Animal Rescue, worked as Program manager at Sail Georgian Bay and worked in the banking industry for 6 years. Katrina is thankful to join such a great team who is making a difference in our community.

Ernie Dean

Program Staff
Ernie has been with us since May 2022 and is currently finishing school as a DSW. He has a background as a chef and brings a plethora of knowledge with him that has helped grow our culinary goals. He has been involved with Special Olympics from a young age and is currently our Meaford/Thornbury Fireballs bowling teams head coach. He is a young leader that is looking forward to helping grow our team and expand our possibilities in the future.

VOLUNTEERS

Barb Weeden

Shelley Higginson

Brenda Topham

Jeannette Taylor

Katrina Scott

Ernie Dean

BOARD OF DIRECTORS

Barb Weeden

Shelley Higginson

Brenda Topham

Jeannette Taylor

Katrina Scott

Ernie Dean