Board of Directors

Meet our Board of Directors for 2015 – 16

Ray Anthony – Treasurer

Ray has an educational background in Child and Youth Care from Vancouver Island University.  He has been working in the non-profit sector since 2003 with local agencies such as the Cowichan Intercultural Society, Canadian Mental Health Association and the Cowichan Family Caregivers Society.  Ray is passionate about inclusion and community service and has volunteered with Non-Governmental Organizations in the West Indies and South Sudan.  Ray has served on the Clements Centre Society board since June 2012 and continues to be excited about the opportunity to gain board experience and be part of the amazing team at the Clements.

Denise Augustine

Denise Augustine (Swee’alt) is a Coast Salish woman with mixed ancestry. Both her and her husband, Greg, were raised in the Cowichan Valley and this is where they also raised their two girls.  Denise has been an educator for over 20 years and has worked with children and youth from pre-school through grade 12. More recently, as the district principal of Aboriginal education, Denise has been working closely with teachers, administrators and support staff. In side-by-side coaching, action research, and experiential workshops, Denise carefully weaves story and research together, inviting adults to open their hearts and minds and imagine a community that values diversity and inspires innovation. 

Richard Calverley – 1st Vice President

Richard and his wife, Nancy, have been involved in caring for and about adults with developmental disabilities for over 10 years. His involvement includes Operation Track Shoes and home sharing. Richard joined the board of Clements in 2008. As well, he is heavily involved in Rotary, both locally and internationally.

Bob Claus

Hilary S. Abbott

Hilary, a cheese maker and entrepreneur in the Cowichan Valley spent thirteen years building the Hilary’s Cheese brand with his wife Patty Abbott. They sold Hilary’s Cheese Company and its two retail shops in 2013 to pursue a new vision.

Hilary built a new cheese making business on the family farm located within the popular wine district of the Cowichan Valley.  Open to the public March 2014 – it offered visitors a glimpse at how he transformed milk into dairy products, “Milk’s Leap to Immortality”.  The Creamery at Cheese Pointe Farm was a “must-stop” location for people touring, travelling and enjoying the bounty of the Cowichan Valley.  Hilary and Patty sold their farm this past fall and have moved to a smaller property that is awash with rhododendrons – a new departure for the Abbott’s.

Prior to becoming an independent businessman – Hilary worked for one of Canada’s finest Independent Schools, Shawnigan Lake School, where he was the Director of Advancement, a role that involves fund raising and communications. The Abbott’s moved to Cowichan in 1992 from Ottawa, where he had ten years’ business management experience at two other schools.

Hilary has been actively involved in community affairs in the Cowichan Valley over the past ten years. He has been a member of the Cowichan Valley Regional District Economic Development Commission and a Board Member of the Island Farmers’ Alliance – an organization created to encourage and promote Island Agriculture. Hilary’s community involvement with these various entities has always stressed the importance of sustainability of agriculture on Vancouver Island in the face of growing challenges and changing demographics. Hilary has also served as the President of the South Cowichan Rotary Club (Mill Bay) a role he enjoyed with particular interest and emphasis on youth initiatives.

Hilary recently turned his passion for The Island, its People, Good Food and Agriculture towards the sales and promotion of fresh products produced by Arbutus Ridge Farms Ltd. – a local company producing fresh deli salads and pasta dishes for the Grocery and Hospitality sector of British Columbia. Arbutus Ridge Farms has grown over the past twenty years from a Mill Bay farm to a successful federally licensed commercial kitchen/factory in Duncan that serves the needs of discerning shops and restaurants on Vancouver Island, the Gulf Islands and throughout British Columbia. During the month of May 2016 Arbutus Ridge Farms is excited to once again be moving into bigger and better facilities in the newly constructed plant at the Parhar Development in Koksilah Village. These new facilities will provide Arbutus Ridge Farms with new production capabilities to serve a wider cross section of products and the ability to distribute into Alberta. Developing new markets is one of the challenges Hilary is charged to undertake.

Bryan Fick


Catherine Hudson – Secretary

Catherine is a retired nurse clinician with extensive experience in special needs/psychiatric pediatrics, psycho-geriatrics, and the mother of an adult child with developmental challenges. In the past, she served as a founding board member of Giant Steps West Program for Autism and Developmental Disabilities, and as a board member of a child development centre. Currently, she serves as a resource parent of the Family Support Institute and has obtained her Master Gardeners certification! She is married to a physician/musician active in the Cowichan Valley.

Catherine views board service as an excellent way to have a substantial, and ongoing impact in the community. She is passionate for the organization’s particular cause and mission and is proud to be a member of the dedicated team of concerned and engaged individuals on the Clements Centre Society Board. Catherine looks forward to being able to participate in identifying long-term goals, seeking out diverse opportunities for collaboration, as well as potentially implementing innovative strategies for lasting change.

Ken Pidwysocki

After completing an Education Degree at the University of Saskatchewan I taught special needs children for several years in Prince Albert, Saskatchewan. I then spent five years working for the New Zealand Department of Education as a school psychologist. While in New Zealand I completed a Masters Degree in Educational Psychology. On my return to Canada, I was employed by the Alberta Department of Education as a Special Education Consultant for seventeen years both in Grand Prairie and Calgary. In both of the above noted positions I assessed special needs children and provided teachers and parents with program information. My final working position was as the Executive Director of Calgary Quest school. This school provided education for severely challenged students from age three to eighteen. I held this position for fifteen years. My employer was a parent run board. In this position I hired staff (teachers, aids, physio therapists and speech therapists). I was also involved with other community organizations with similar programs and the Department of Education for funding,Throughout my working career I have been involved with other boards with a responsibility to develop policy and the implementation and evaluation of policy. I believe this background will be an asset to Clements Centre.

Kevin Rodger

Professionally, I am the Business Development Analyst at Community Futures Cowichan where I have helped to deliver business services and financing to businesses in the Cowichan Region for the past 7 years.  Previous to this, I pursued careers in sales and marketing and operations management. Punctuating all of this, have been a number of entrepreneurial forays into small business.

On the personal side of things, I celebrated my 20th wedding anniversary last year with my wife Kim (I think she celebrated too?) and have two daughters, Claire aged 17 and Lauren aged 14. It’s through Lauren that I first became acquainted with the people and services of Clements Centre.

Away from work and family life, I have been a member of the Kinsmen Club of Duncan for over 20 years and currently serve as a board member of the Cowichan Seniors Community Foundation. I was also a past board member of Clements Centre.

And finally, over the last?? years, I have had a love/hate relationship with the game of golf.



Patti Shea

Born and raised in Halifax, Patti Shea has worked her way across the country during her 25 year radio career, with 12 residential moves through four provinces.

Over the years she has been able to advocate for many different groups and organizations and is delighted to now be a part of the Clements Centre community.

Patti is married to Rob, has two small dogs and a giant cat, and is living happily ever after in the Cowichan Valley.


Leslie Welin – President

Leslie came to the Board of Clements Centre Society in 2008 because it is a way she can give back for the support some of her family members have received from organizations like Clements. She is thrilled to part of a dynamic board and excited to be involved in working to make it possible for people with developmental disabilities and children with special needs to be a vital part of the community.

Before Clements Centre Society, Leslie was a faculty member at Vancouver Island University, teaching child and youth care. She spent many years as a mental health therapist working with children, youth and families who experienced trauma in their lives and as a teacher, in the public school system, from kindergarten to grade 12. You can usually find Leslie playing with her grandchildren or walking the many trails of the Cowichan Valley.