Board of Directors

Liisa Freure (President)

Liisa Freure, M.Ed., OCT, Fellow /AOGPE, CDT/IDA  has over 25 years of experience in the field of education in both public and private school systems.  Liisa’s initial interest in research-based interventions began when traditional methods of instruction failed some of the students in her classroom.  Then, after two of her own three children exhibited early signs of dyslexia, Liisa began to learn all that she could about strategies for intervention and remediation.  In addition to training with the Academy of Orton-Gillingham Practitioners and Educators to become a Fellow, and becoming certified as an Education Advocate, Liisa continues to study language and expand her knowledge and skills including extensive immersion in Structured Word Inquiry. Liisa now runs a private educational consulting and tutoring practice for students of all ages and trains parents, teachers and other professionals in Structured Literacy.  She has been a presenter at local, national and international conferences and has been actively involved with the Ontario Branch of the International Dyslexia Association since 2007.  Liisa served as President from 2009-2012 and has once again joined the board as interim President.

Jill Kearney (Vice-president)

Jill Kearney is a certified IDA Dyslexia Practitioner and has Associate Level certification from the Academy of Orton-Gillingham Practitioners and Educators.  Jill has a B.Sc. (Biology ) and an M.Sc. (Applied Statistics) and worked for over 30 years in environmental health research and risk assessment.  She became interested in understanding dyslexia when her son had unexpected difficulties in learning to read.  She now enjoys private tutoring and is often found looking at the latest scientific articles about reading and participating in workshops and webinars on dyslexia, assessment, effective interventions, fluency, morphology, etymology, assistive technologies, and other learning issues.  By working with ONBIDA she hopes to share what she has learned in order to help people with dyslexia, their families and educators.

Loretta Tang (Secretary)

Loretta Tang is the  Senior Services Specialist, Community Outreach & Engagement at the Toronto Public Library.  She holds a Master of Information Studies in Library and Information Science, from the University of Toronto. With over 7 years of professional experience in the public library, she has worked in several capacities promoting literacy and building capacity within the community. She is an advocate for literacy & education and strongly believes that educators and parents of dyslexics should have access to the appropriate training, support, and resources.

Yatin Dullabh (Treasurer)

Yatin Dullabh is a qualified Chartered Accountant and Certified Information Systems Auditor (CISA) with over 12 years of financial audit, IT audit and consulting experience. He is a highly accomplished Auditor Controls Consultant, and Accounting professional with a successful verifiable track record in corporate audit, IT audit, accounting, and business advisory services. He is well versed in performing controls gap analysis, and designing business process and system improvements. Yatin grew up in a household learning that those of us that are fortunate should always find means to help those that are less. He would like to give back to his community by dedicating his time and available skills and resources to the organization. He believes that education is the fundamental tool for growth and development, as individuals, as organizations, and as communities. Early childhood identification of learning disabilities and intervention significantly improves in managing and addressing those learning disabilities.

Fiona Ara

Fiona Ara is an Orton Gillingham practitioner completing her Associate level training.  She has been active in supporting students with dyslexia for over 5 years; both in the classroom and in her private practice.  Previously she worked as an Industrial Designer, researcher and manufacturing consultant for 17 years.  Seeing first hand the challenges teachers face, she applied her research skills to a project developing a computer program based on the Orton Gillingham approach and Structural Literacy. Designed to train teachers, it prepares them for working with individuals with dyslexia. Fiona has a Bachelor of Design from OCAD University and a Post Diplôme from École Supérieure d'art et Design Saint-Étienne, France. She is an advocate of early childhood identification and supports research and policy aimed at improving education for all Ontarians.

Azza Daba

Azza Daba started out her career in the special education field. During that time, she began her journey as a lifelong learner and received a master’s degree in special education. Through her studies, she became fascinated by language and literacy acquisition, especially remedial pedagogy. Being bilingual has given her the opportunity to study the differences between two orthographies, which has lead to her deeper appreciation of the cognitive and linguistic demands of learning a language and its writing system. She has experience as a mainstream classroom teacher, a remedial tutor and an English as a second language teacher. She is an IDA Certified Dyslexia Practitioner and currently runs her private practice of tutoring individuals with dyslexia. She enjoys and actively seeks further insight by staying informed about recent research and attending courses, conferences, and workshops. Azza feels that joining the ONBIDA board provides a unique opportunity to participate in efforts to increase public awareness about dyslexia and improve services for individuals with dyslexia in Ontario. She believes that all educators should be informed about evidence-based practices to help provide dyslexic students with a fair chance to succeed in their education.

Laura Crumb

Jackie Lincoln

Jackie Lincoln moved to Canada from Germany in 2006. Originally from the U.S., she spent the majority of her career managing projects for large corporations (Xerox and Citicorp). She studied Organization Development, Change Management, and Customer Service Management at the Rochester Institute of Technology, and is currently enrolled in Orton-Gillingham Associate Level training. Although she has just begun learning about dyslexia (with the goal of becoming a tutor), she’s always had a special interest in language and looks forward to being able to use her organizational skills and experience in support of ONBIDA’s mission and activities.

Tracy Shepard

Tracy graduated from Simon Fraser University with a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology and English and graduated from the University of British Columbia with a Bachelor of Education. She has taught in BC. and Ontario in the Primary and Junior grades. Tracy and her husband Dave have three boys one who has been identified as being Dyslexic. As a parent of a child with dyslexia, she has spent time learning about ways to help her son receive the appropriate support and education to meet his learning needs. She also completed the Associate level course in the Orton-Gillingham approach. Tracy feels strongly that all children should receive the appropriate education to meet their learning needs and by educating people about Dyslexia we may reach more students, parents, and educators to increase their understanding of these learning differences.

Landon Tresise

Landon graduated with a Bachelors degree in Political Science from Western University in 2005, and a Masters of Business Administration from the Ivey Business School in 2014. Landon lives in Toronto with his wife of seven years Carly. Over the last seventeen years, Landon has worked and volunteered in politics; including multiple posts in Ministers' offices and campaigns at all three levels of government. He hopes to use his experience in public advocacy and strategic management to contribute to the board's long history of promotion, research, education, and advocacy.

Advisory Council

Mark Foerster

Mark joined Munich Re in September 2000. Mark is responsible for all aspects of group operations including financial reporting and client servicing along with claims services for both lines of business – individual and group. Mark had 6 years of senior insurance management experience prior to joining Munich Re and 13 years of senior management/executive roles with a large financial institution. Mark began his insurance career in 1988 leading a start-up insurance operation within a large financial institution. Mark received his Honours degree in Business Administration in 1977 and a Masters degree in Business Administration in 1980 (both from the University of Western Ontario Ivey School of Business. He completed the requirements for a Certified Financial Planner designation in 1997. Mark has taught part-time as a university instructor in Strategic Management. He has also served on numerous charity boards and is currently Past Chair, United Way York Region. Mark is currently advising ONBIDA in Strategic Planning.

Jennifer Goudey

Jennifer Goudey joins the ONBIDA board with a wealth of knowledge in the field of children’s mental health and management skills. She has recently completed her PhD in School Psychology from the University of Alberta and is currently working with the Learning Disabilities Research Program at the Hospital for Sick Children in Toronto. Her research interest is in the area of parent involvement and children’s reading development, with a focus on parents helping with their children’s reading at home. A current research project looks at the contributions that a home-based parent tutoring program has on children’s reading achievement.

Elie Roth

Elie Roth is a partner with Davies Ward Phillips & Vineberg LLP in Toronto, where he is a member of the taxation law practice group. Elie advises on domestic and international tax planning, corporate reorganizations, mergers and acquisitions, and corporate finance, and also acts as counsel to a number of charitable and non-profit organizations. Elie has advised ONBIDA on charity and taxation law matters since the Ontario Branch was formed and assisted ONBIDA in its registration as a Canadian charity. In honour of Elie’s contributions to ONBIDA, a scholarship fund was set up in his name.

Sally Shearman

Sally Shearman was one of the founders of the Ontario Branch of the Ontario Branch of the International Dyslexia Association. Sally teaches Special Education and has been with the York Region District School Board since 1991. She was a member of the Advisory Panel for the National Early Literacy Strategy, a project of the Canadian Language and Literacy Research Network (CLLRNet), and a member of the Advisory Panel for the Effective Reading Instruction Resource Kit, CLLRNet. She has served in a variety of positions at the local and national levels within IDA since 1999. Sally has developed and delivered many different workshops and teaching modules to raise awareness amongst education professionals of research-based classroom approaches to teaching individuals with dyslexia. Dyslexia runs in Sally’s family and she is passionate about making sure that all children receive research-informed literacy instruction.