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About Parkinson Society

When you or someone you love is diagnosed with Parkinson’s, the first question often asked is “where do I go?” Our answer is simple: home.

Parkinson’s Society Southwestern Ontario is home.

Home for all those living with Parkinson’s Disease in Southwestern Ontario.

Home for you to find services, workshops, and groups dedicated to growing the support and community around Parkinson’s Disease.

Home for education, advocacy, and research initiatives built on spreading the awareness, care, and support for Parkinson’s Disease.

But most importantly, home for You.

At Parkinson Society Southwestern Ontario, we’re dedicated to providing the best, most supportive, and most valuable community for all those with Parkinson’s. We understand the importance of togetherness, and bring that understanding into all of the work we do.

Our team of supportive, kind, and knowledgeable staff are dedicated to the community and providing the resources that are needed and valued by all of the amazing people we aim to help. We are committed to providing the utmost care and support to all of those whose lives are touched by Parkinson’s Disease.

Our unwavering goal is, was, and always will be to create the very best community for everyone living with Parkinson’s in Southwestern Ontario.

Shelley Rivard

Chief Executive Officer

Shelley joined PSSO in 2009 as Coordinator of Special Events, and has been in the role of CEO for the last 8 years.  She has 20+ years in the not-for-profit sector beginning working for Minor Hockey, The Kidney Foundation of Canada, and now Parkinson Society Southwestern Ontario. Shelley has a passion for people, and enjoys the opportunity to build a supportive community for those living with PD throughout Southwestern Ontario.  

In her spare time, Shelley enjoys her family, 4 adult children and 7 wonderful grandchildren.  Shelley loves being outdoors, and enjoys the beach in the summer.  Recently, she has taken on some home renovations and enjoys doing these DIY projects.

Joanne Bernard

Manager, Administration

Joanne first came to Parkinson Society Southwestern Ontario as a volunteer after her father was diagnosed with Parkinson’s. She worked on the Cut-A-Thon and Tulip Benefit committees helping with marketing and media.  Joanne was then hired full-time as Coordinator of Special Events and Marketing in 1998.

Joanne has had various roles within the organization and currently enjoys her position as Manager of Administration.  Although her main focus is in finance and administration, she also coordinates the semi-annual newsletter, The Parkinson’s Update, updates the website and puts together the weekly Enews.

Joanne has continued to be active in the community with her daughters’ hockey (trainer, assistant coach), children’s ministry, Regional Mental Health Care (placement) and more recently at Anova, with the hope of helping abused women navigate the legal system.  In her spare time, she likes to walk, garden, paint and most importantly, spend time with her amazing daughters.

Mandy McDonagh

Programs & Services Coordinator

Mandy comes to PSSO with extensive experience in the non-profit sector, supporting and assisting clients through various programs and linking them to other community agency services. Mandy’s work experience has given her a strong understanding of the Social Determinants of Health, and how important it is to have community connections with those walking similar journeys. Although Mandy has only been with PSSO for a short time, she is thrilled to have joined an organization that shares values similar to hers, and looks forward to getting to know all of you. 

In their spare time,  Mandy and her husband  are busy raising their head strong young daughter to be a “world changer.” They love animals and have three fur children who make life a little more fun: Minnie Mouse and Daisy Duck are the family’s beloved kitties, and Rosco, the retired therapy dog. Mandy and her family are homebodies by nature, but fortunately have an oversized backyard that sits next to forest, so there are plenty of creatures to explore and learn about.

Mark Womack

Community Development Coordinator, Grey-Bruce

Mark joined PSSO in August 2019, working with our PD clients in Grey and Bruce counties. As a Community Development Coordinator, Mark splits his time between doing fundraising (Walk, grant applications), and clients service (Support Groups, Coffee Klatch) activities. Living on the Bruce Peninsula, and on Lake Huron, Mark spends lots of his free time biking, hiking, paddleboarding, and walking his two dogs, Archer (Basset Hound) and Tripp (Bernese Mountain Dog). He’s a world traveler, having visited 28 countries (so far), and can’t wait to get back in the air!

Jessica Halls (parental leave)

Manager, Fund Development

Jessica joined Parkinson Society Southwestern Ontario as a special event assistant working on the walk and other fundraising initiatives. 

After some time away, working with United Way, Jessica returned with new skills and excitement to be back and part of the Parkinson Society Southwestern Ontario team. Jessica is now Manager of Fund Development and works to raise support to be able to fund programs, services and educational opportunities. 

On her down time, Jessica enjoys time spent with her husband, their two dogs and all the animals that roam their family’s hobby farm. 

Justine Travnicek 

Data Specialist

Justine has been involved with the nonprofit sector for over 20 years. She began volunteering by raising and training an assistance dog while living in Alberta. When she relocated to Ontario, she began working with the local hospital foundation, and experienced various roles within a nonprofit. Throughout her career she has consistently worked with data and understands that it is essential for maintaining the health of organizations and plays a central role in everything from strategy to daily logistics. When away from work, you’ll find her enjoying time with her family and probably surrounded by animals.

Corporate Board, Executive Members

Brad Richards


Alysia Christiaen 


Joe Salamon

Treasurer & Secretary

Shelley Rivard

Chief Executive Officer

Board Members

Anthony Bender

Board Member

Cam Crosbie

Board Member

Chris Curry

Board Member

Dr. Jeff Holmes

Board Member

Gary Pullam 

Board Member

Matthew Mitchell

Board Member

Dr. Mandar Jog

Honorary Board Member