Board of Directors

The DRCC’s Board of Directors is composed of a group of dedicated professionals that span a diverse array of professional backgrounds and personal life experiences relating to the needs of the agency and its clients.

The 2022/2023 Board of Directors for the Durham Rape Crisis Centre includes the following individuals:

President — Stephanie Ehret

Stephanie Ehret, Ph.D., is an Assistant Professor in the Sociology Department at Trent University. Prior to working in academia, Stephanie spent time in community justice, first as a diversion counsellor and then as a resource developer and volunteer coordinator at an agency focused on violence against women issues. Stephanie also has experience working in the financial industry. Her research focuses on meanings of justice and she is interested in a range of social and institutional modalities for doing justice. Her current research examines criminal justice from the perspectives of Autistic adults in Canada.

Vice President — Adryan Bergstrom-Borins

Adryan (she/her) is a white settler of mixed Euro-Scandinavian and Jewish descent, and her maternal ancestors are Anishinaabe/Ojibway. She holds a Master’s of Public Policy and Sexual Diversity Studies from the University of Toronto and is currently pursuing a Social Services Worker Diploma at Durham College. Adryan is a Program Manager for children and youth at the Ontario Federation of Indigenous Friendship Centres and formerly served as Senior Program Advisor for Ontario’s Indigenous Healing and Wellness Strategy (IHWS) in the Ministry of Children, Community and Social Services. Adryan is passionate about social justice issues and supporting the healing of survivors of violence.

Treasurer — Chelsea Desrochers

Chelsea has her undergraduate degree from Trent University in Political Studies and is completing her Masters in Political Science at the University of Waterloo. She is a Continuous Improvement Analyst with experience in data analytics, project management, various programming languages, and Six Sigma. She has been involved with other non-profit institutions focused on social justice research and restorative justice initiatives. Chelsea joined the DRCC Board of Directors in September of 2020.

Secretary — Lexa Cutler

Lexa (she/her) is a labour and employment lawyer. Lexa’s written work has been published by the Lawyer’s Daily and the Ontario Bar Association. She received her JD from Queen’s University in 2020 where she was awarded the Queen’s Law Prize in Trial Advocacy and was called to the Ontario Bar in 2021. During law school, Lexa volunteered with Queen’s Legal Aid and Pro Bono Students Canada. Before law school, Lexa completed her Honours Specialization in Global Development at Huron University College at Western, where she gained her passion for feminism and social justice. Lexa joined the DRCC Board of Directors as Secretary in June 2022.

Director — Chanelle La-Fleur

Chanelle La-Fleur is a Womens Transitional House Coordinator and Personal Support Worker. With over a decade of rewarding experience collaborating with youth and families of low income communities and diversed backgrounds. Chanelle has graduated from the Assaulted women’s and children’s counsellor/ advocate program. Chanelle is passionate about providing services and supports to women who have survived abuse and trauma. Including one on one counselling, employment & financial coaching, health care references and eviction prevention. Chanelle has volunteered and trained with several community organizations throughout her journey, focusing on violence prevention, sexual harassment, workplace health and safety and much more! Chanelle joined the DRCC board of directors in August of 2019.

Director — Claudia Cammisa

Claudia Cammisa is passionate about working with vulnerable children and youth. She has worked within the Ministry of Children, Community and Social Services for 3 years. During this time, Claudia’s roles have included provincially assessing the safety, permanency and wellbeing of children in extended society care, as well as, inspecting foster and group homes to assess quality of care and legislative compliance. Claudia’s previous experience at the Ministry of the Attorney General has provided her a comprehensive understanding of the strengths and barriers victims of crime face navigating and engaging in the criminal justice system. Claudia joined the DRCC Board of Directors in September 2019.

Director — Suraiya Kara (she/her)

Suraiya Kara is a multi-disciplinary HR leadership professional with a passion for creating holistically safe and beneficial workplaces. Suraiya is also a nationally Certified Psychological Health & Safety Advisor for workplaces, and a nationally Certified Mental Health First Aid Instructor. With a background in Social Work, Suraiya tends to take a holistic ‘People’ first approach to supporting the full HR function and does so utilizing an anti-oppressive, anti-racist, feminist, and equitable lens.  Past work experience for Suraiya includes providing counselling support to survivors of Domestic and Sexual Violence, in addition to working with Law Enforcement, and Crown Prosecutors to negotiate Offender sentences and rehabilitation. Suraiya also has experience providing immediate crisis support to individuals experiencing suicidal ideations and other crisis-related situations.

Suraiya is currently the HR Manager for a prominent start-up in the Toronto area where she focuses on Mental Health & Wellness initiatives, DEI&B, Employee Relations, Talent Acquisition and Management, and creating & customizing a rewarding Employee & Candidate Experience.

Director — Teresa Avvampato (she/her)

Teresa Avvampato is a Professor and has worked as an Occupational Therapist in the Durham Region for the past 17 years.  She is completing a Doctor of Science in Rehabilitation and Health Leadership and holds a Master of Science in Occupational Therapy and an Honours Bachelor of Health Science.  Teresa’s teaching and research currently focus on best practices and education relating to collaborative and professional practice, in addition to teaching theory and skills for entry-level clinical practice. Her clinical background includes mental health.  She has professional experience in program development and evaluation, leading accreditation submissions and audits, and is an accreditation reviewer. Teresa has provided crisis intervention as a volunteer dating back to 1998 and is passionate about volunteering and community engagement. Teresa joined the DRCC Board of Directors in June 2022.

Former Board Members

Past President — Olga Marques

Olga Marques, Ph.D. is an Assistant Professor at Ontario Tech University (University of Ontario Institute of Technology) in the Criminology and Justice program. Her teaching and research focus on the intersections of sex, gender, sexuality, and race, with justice, regulation, and criminalization/victimization. She has previous employment experience in the criminal justice field, including victim support worker, program assistant in a social housing community, and as a behavior counselor in a women’s federal correctional facility.  Olga is currently the Chair of the Advisory Committee on Student Sexual Violence Prevention and Support at Ontario Tech University. Olga joined the DRCC Board of Directors in February 2013.

Past President — Lindsay Wyers

Lindsay has been the President of the DRCC for 10.5 years.  Prior to her experience on the Board, she was a crisis line volunteer for 2.5 years.  Lindsay has an under graduate degree is Medical Anthropology and Health Studies and a Masters in Health Sciences, with a focus on Community Health. Lindsay has a wide variety of healthcare experiences, specifically in project management, data analysis, accountability and performance metrics.  She is currently the Director of IT, Decision Support, Health Information and Privacy for Peterborough Regional Health Centre.  Lindsay joined the DRCC Board of Directors in March 2010.

Past Director — Denise Williams

Denise is a corporate lawyer with over 10 years of experience.  She completed her undergraduate, law and graduate school studies at York University, Osgoode Hall Law School and University of Toronto respectively.  Denise has a wide variety of experience as a board member for various other charitable organizations.  Denise joined the DRCC board of directors in September of 2020.