Contact & Staff

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We are located at the Accelerator Centre in the David Johnston Research & Technology Park.

Capacity Canada
Accelerator Centre
295 Hagey Boulevard
Waterloo, ON N2L 6R5

Phone: 519-513-2606
Toll Free: 866-317-1992
Fax: 519-513-2604
Twitter: @capacitycanada


Administration Team

Jennifer Vasic
Researcher & Evaluator

[email protected]
O: 519-513-2606 x19
M: 519-504-5831

Learn more about Jennifer

Areas of Expertise: Research, Evaluation, Health / Mental Health & Community Development
Jennifer loves learning and is enthusiastic to foster a love of learning in others. This combined with a curious nature, penchant for asking questions, and genuine interest in the answers she’s given has led her to work in research and evaluation. Most importantly, she values engaging all stakeholders, including non-profit service users, in program development, implementation, and evaluation. In addition to her current role at Capacity Canada, she is a Ph.D. student at Wilfrid Laurier University’s Faculty of Social Work studying the role of the arts in transforming public education for youth who live in low-income neighbourhoods. She has previously worked in the non-profit sector as a youth worker, program coordinator, and community-based researcher. She is actively involved in her community as a volunteer on the Public Art Advisory Committee at the Region of Waterloo and on the Kitchener-Waterloo Community Foundation Grants Committee.

Executives In Residence

Don McDermott
Executive in Residence

[email protected]
O: 519-513-2606 x22

Learn more about Don

Areas of Expertise: MatchBoard, Board Governance
Don McDermott has worked with many different boards over the years, and one thing comes up consistently. “What I hear often from directors is that they get far more satisfaction back than they feel they give to the organization,” McDermott says. As an executive in residence with Capacity Canada, McDermott works on the MatchBoard program for Toronto-area Manulife employees. MatchBoard fits the interests of Manulife volunteers with vacancies on social-profit boards. McDermott has built a career in health-care administration — most recently as president and chief executive officer of the Catholic Health Corporation of Ontario. Now retired, he and his wife Joan run a consultancy to help social-profit organizations in the areas of board development and strategic planning. “While volunteers who contribute their time and skills to social-profit boards feel rewarded for their efforts, it is the agencies, communities and recipients of services who really benefit and appreciate these volunteers”, McDermott says.

Marion Thomson Howell
Executive in Residence

[email protected]
O: 519-513-2606

Learn more about Marion

Areas of Expertise: Content Creation, E-Learning, & Governance
What can somebody learn from an app on a smartphone? Plenty, says Marion Thomson Howell. Thomson Howell is the executive in residence in charge of Capacity's Axonify project. Axonify, a technology company based in Waterloo, Ont., applies brain science to develop anywhere, anytime e-learning. Capacity is using the Axonify platform as a governance-training tool for directors of social-profit organizations. Directors learn by answering short packets of questions through an app on their computer, tablet or phone. Questions answered incorrectly loop back later in the training period. "The evidence behind brain science is pretty compelling," says Thomson Howell, president of Shaughnessy Howell Inc. "When people learn in small bites, when they revisit content over time, it anchors learning." Thomson Howell's own board experience includes St. Jerome’s University and St. Mary's General Hospital (Kitchener). "I love operating at that level," she says about governance roles. "There's a lot to be done, and a lot we could do better."

David Drewe
Executive in Residence

[email protected]
O: 519-513-2606 x11

Learn more about David

Areas of Expertise: Engaging Elected Officials, Government Relations
Born in Copper Cliff, Ontario, David Drewe grew up in Northern Ontario before moving to Waterloo to attend the University of Waterloo to study Political Science and Marketing. Throughout his career, David has worked as a strategic communications advisor, advocate and spokesperson, as well as a media relations and government relations professional for numerous not-for-profit and charitable organizations, including the Canadian Association for Suicide Prevention and the Friends of Ontario Universities. David also edited a magazine about post-secondary education in Canada, and has served as Communications Director for several political campaigns. Most recently, David worked on Parliament Hill, where he was the project lead on MP Harold Albrecht’s ground-breaking suicide prevention legislation: the Federal Framework for Suicide Prevention. David also led research and communications efforts for the Parliamentary Committee on Palliative and Compassionate Care, an all-party group dedicated to advancing how Canada treats our most vulnerable citizens.

Lyn Royce
Executive in Residence

[email protected]
O: 519-513-2606

Learn more about Lyn

Areas of Expertise: Development Strategist
A firm believer in the tenet, if you can’t find it, create it, Lyn continues to display her talent for balancing the bottom line while nurturing relationships over a career trajectory spanning three decades. As Audience Services Director of Canada’s renowned Shaw Festival for seven seasons, Lyn spearheaded one of the Festival’s largest senior staff portfolios, championing accessibility, cultivating audience stewardship and establishing service consistency. By turns creative and cognitive, Lyn guides projects with an eye to finding the best resolution for all parties. Her forays into independent consulting have been interlaced with service as Regional Advisor for the Ministries of Citizenship and Immigration, Tourism, Culture and Sport, where colleagues laud her as “….best plug and play person....” Within her heritage consultancy, Lyn mentored multiple communities with disparate levels of experience in launching A Walk Through History Cemetery Tours. An initiative of Niagara – Cultural Capital of Canada 2012, participating groups used joint marketing tools and developed shared costume and prop inventories to further expand community history engagement. Recently, Lyn has focused her considerable energies on third sector development projects with Capacity Canada and one-on-one arts mentorships in organizational aptitude with Creative Enterprise Initiative. A skilled teacher and facilitator, she considers such feedback as “You taught me stuff when I wasn’t looking!” among her greatest achievements. Her commitment to arts and culture is exemplified in longstanding memberships with the Canadian Museums Association and Toronto’s Arts and Letters Club.