Canadian Down Syndrome Society Board of Directors


2019 – 2020 Board of Directors and Interim Executive Director

Back row:Paul Crowley (Vice Chair),  Jackie Charchuk (Secretary), Ben Tarr Middle row: Ed Casagrande (Chair), Sean Wiltshire
Front row: Yelman Siddiqi (Treasurer), Laura LaChance (Interim Executive Director), Dewlyn Lobo, Christine McConnell, David Fischl

About the CDSS Board of Directors

The Canadian Down Syndrome Society Board of Directors is made up of volunteers from across Canada who are committed to the vision and mission of the society. Currently the Board is made up of individuals who have a personal or professional relationship to people with Down syndrome. Each year nominations are accepted for vacant Board positions and new Board members are elected.

The primary accountability of the Board is to the members of the CDSS. The Board will govern the organization utilizing available financial resources to ensure the best possible services for the membership.

In the fulfillment of its mandate as the governing body of the Canadian Down Syndrome Society, the Board of Directors will:

  • Be accountable to the membership and to the community at large of persons with Down syndrome and their families for the accomplishment of its responsibilities.
  • Conduct itself in an ethical and responsible manner.
  • Ensure the financial viability of the society through active participation in fund development.
  • Focus on the mission, vision and values of the organization.
  • Educate itself regarding issues affecting the society in order to make informed decisions concerning the future of the organization.
  • Establish policies to provide guidelines and limitations to staff, Board and volunteers in implementing the goals of the society as set by the Board.
  • Work in collaboration with the Executive Director and administrative staff.
  • Conduct itself as a deliberate decision-making body, speaking with one voice in matters which have been decided by the Board; and
  • Discipline itself in matters such as attendance, compliance with Board policy, respect of roles, confidentiality and conflict of interest.
  • Protect the society and its assets by considering risk and risk minimization when making decisions.

CDSS Board of Directors 2019 – 2020

Executive Committee
Ed Casagrande  – Chair
Paul Crowley – Vice Chair
Yelman Siddiqi – Treasurer
Jackie Charchuk – Secretary

Board Members 
Sean Wiltshire
Dave Fischl
Dewlyn Lobo
Ben Tarr
Christine McConnell
Paul Crowley

Board Committees

Fund Development Committee 
Ed Casagrande – Chair
Ben Tarr
Paul Crowley
Dave Fischl

Employment Committee 
Sean Wiltshire – Chair
Dave Fischl
Dewlyn Lobo
Jackie Charchuk 
Ed Casagrande

Expectations of Board Members

  • The CDSS Board holds a weekday evening video-conference meeting once monthly. Attendance is required at weekend long Board Meetings a few times each year.
  • Board Members actively participate on sub-committees of the Board during each term. Board Members may join the Executive Committee any time after the first year is served.
  • Ongoing Board and Committee work and related conference calls are completed between in person meetings and requires a varying amount of time, commitment and self-direction.
  • Board Members must be knowledgeable of responsibilities of a national non-profit organization.
  • Board members must be aware of the needs of individuals living with Down Syndrome in all life stages including  issues related to education, medicine, and ethics, No individual will be an expert in all of these areas but a board as a whole must contain combined knowledge to address these ongoing issues. For this reason individuals with a variety of professional and personal skill sets are identified and desired.
  • If a Board Member resigns prior to completion of the first two-year term, any travel costs refunded by CDSS must be reimbursed by the resigning Board Member.
  • You do not have to be a member of the CDSS Board of Directors to participate in projects being developed by CDSS. If you have a particular interest or project that you would like to pursue please contact us to discuss your proposal. CDSS looks to its member groups and individuals for advice, expertise and potential partnering in various projects throughout the year.


Join Us! The Canadian Down Syndrome Society is seeking candidates to join our Board of Directors. If you reside in Canada, have a strong desire to use your skills and experience to help chart a better future for individuals with Down syndrome, and are willing to serve a two-year volunteer term, then we want to hear from you!

Having a strong commitment to diversity and inclusion, we encourage applications from all who meet the basic eligibility requirements. The CDSS will provide appropriate accommodation(s) for candidates with disabilities or accessibility needs.

Our Vision: All people are valued, fully participating citizens.

Our Mission: To empower Canadians with Down syndrome and their families. We raise awareness and provide information on Down syndrome through the prenatal, early childhood, school years, adulthood and retirement stages of life.

As a CDSS board member you will be responsible for ensuring the organization meets legal requirements and that it is operating in accordance with its mission and for the purpose for which it was granted non-profit status. Board members must execute duty and care, which means they must attend meetings, be prepared to make informed decisions and request additional information as necessary.

Further details about the roles and responsibilities of the CDSS Board of Directors are available above. We ask that all interested individuals apply prior to March 21, 2020. A fillable application form is available here:

Apply to be on the CDSS Board of Directors.