Carleton Place Drug Strategy Committee members share their profilesUpdated January 25, 2017
EMC Lifestyle - Since its inception in the fall of 2009, the Carleton Place Drug Strategy Committee has been fortunate to attract members representing a wealth of skill, experience, and dedication to the cause of reducing the risks associated with drug and substance abuse and misuse. These are the people who volunteer to help make their community a safer and healthier place to live and grow.
Brian Turner, is a 25-year member of the community with a background in youth services admin, having served as board chair and member of the Carleton Place and District Youth Centre and former Alwood Treatment Centre for Youth. He is a former municipal councillor and a charter member of the local Rotary club. He works full-time in Perth as well as penning regular columns for the Ottawa Citizen and EMC News. He believes that a plan to reduce drug and substance abuse/misuse in any community must involve support for prevention, treatment, harm reduction, and enforcement in order to succeed.
Nicole Pearson - I am a citizen of the Town of Carleton Place and a parent who went through the unthinkable, the loss of my precious son Brett Pearson to suicide in 2006. Becoming a member of the committee has given me the opportunity to speak of my own experience and the loss of my son and for my passion in finding ways to help youth and adults throughout our communities within Lanark County. I have a strong belief that the topics of drug abuse, mental illness and suicide by way of school presentations can be discussed in a sensitive and informative way with the hope of preventing young people from taking the wrong path or their lives. My mission took a new journey in 2011 when I organized, with the help of members of the Carleton Place Drug Strategy Committee, the 1st Annual Brett Pearson Run for Your Life.
Sgt. Rob Croth has been a member of the Ontario Provincial Police since 1995 and is presently the Community Sergeant in Carleton Place. He has worked as a front line officer for most of his career and spent 13 years as a shift supervisor on the road. Sgt. Croth served as the OPP representative on several Lanark County Police Service Boards and enjoys working with the various schools, community groups, town councils and interest groups within Lanark County.
David Somppi, Chair. David has been a resident of Carleton Place, Ontario since 1988. He is an electrical engineer and has worked primarily in the Canadian high technology sector. As a member of the Carleton Place and District Memorial Hospital board, and more recently the Champlain LHIN board, David has seen how professionals and volunteers can work together to make a difference. David volunteered as a founding member of the Lanark County and Town of Smiths Falls Substance Abuse Network, and continues to volunteer on the Carleton Place committee. He believes our community needs to become more aware of the risk, impact and challenges faced by old and young who are dealing with substance abuse. The more our community understands, the more our community will actively support the work being undertaken by our school boards, our police, our health care and social service providers who are working so hard to help our friends and neighbours.
Glenn Pierce - I am the father of two grown children who now have families of their own. When my son and daughter were growing up, I coached T-ball, hockey and was a leader in Beavers. I have always liked to help children and I see a need now to help today's teens whose lives seem to be more difficult than their parents' were. When I was invited to attend a Drug Strategy meeting, I knew that I wanted to continue attending meetings and doing what I could to help today's youth.
Louis Antonakos, Mayor was born and raised in Carleton Place, Ontario. He operates a property management company and is a second term councillor for the town of Carleton Place. Louis supports and brings forth innovative ideas that help shape Carleton Place. As an active member of his community and member of the Carleton Place District Memorial Hospital board of directors, Louis has spearheaded the creation of many new committees within the town. He is a founding member of the Municipal Drug Strategy Committee and has been instrumental in ensuring that the committee be recognized and struck as an official committee by the Town of Carleton Place. As a member of over 20 other committees within his municipality, Louis feels strongly that residents must be informed about the issues governing their community. They must not only be active participants, but also dream, plan and believe in their community and its residents.
Jaydon Turgeon was born and raised in Carleton Place, Ontario and he is a current graduate of Carleton Place High School. Jaydon has been involved with mental health work since 2013, he is extremely passionate about spreading awareness regarding mental health and youth engagement as he is a youth himself whom has dealt with mental health related issues. He is very eager to make positive change in his community and will volunteer wherever he can. Jaydon has attended and hosted several mental health conferences, workshops, trainings, and youth engagement activities. He is apart of various committees and clubs, he was apart of a committee in 2014/15 that consisted of several student leaders and we were able to speak to almost 1200 students with our mental health presentations within all of the High School's in Lanark County. Jaydon is also a member of The New Mentality as a Youth Advocate and is a current member of Scouts Canada.
Cynthia Cameron-Whalen has been a resident of Carleton Place since 2001. She is retired from the Faculty of Nursing at the University of Manitoba. In addition to serving in a teaching capacity, specializing in aging, she was also Associate Dean and Dean of the Faculty and was extensively involved in international CIDA projects in China and Cuba. Since moving to Carleton Place, she has been a member of the CPDMH Hospital board, the Board of Elizabeth Court and Carleton Place in Bloom. She has also volunteered in the local Hungry Lunch Program and the development of community gardens. Cynthia brings to the committee, a sincere concern for the elderly and substance abuse, knowledge and understanding of cultural influence on behaviour and a further understanding of health needs in our community.