The individuals that make up the team at The Nightingale Centre have extensive experience in supporting children, youth, and their families through grief, death and dying. Coming from diverse backgrounds in psychology, organizational governance, thanatology and more, each member of The Nightingale Team shares a passion for supporting our community through significant and devastating loss.
Bill has volunteered on several not-for-profit and charity boards as a board member, committee chair and board chair. With the Ontario government, he held positions in six different ministries, culminating as Deputy-Minister of Tourism, Culture and Sport.
Bill holds a Bachelor and Master of Science from the University of Guelph and an MBA specializing in organizational development from Laurier University. He is an avid cyclist and downhill skier.
Dr. Laura Brown
Dr. Laura Brown is a registered Clinical Psychologist whose life work has primarily been to help pre-teen, teenage, and young adult individuals and their families struggling with a variety of mental health challenges. For the past 15 years in her private practice work with Insight Psychology on Norfolk in Guelph, Ontario, she has provided therapy for a variety of learning, emotional, and mental health issues, as well as learning to cope with the challenges of living. However, her early training at Holland Bloorview Kids Rehabilitation Hospital, Hospital for Sick Children, and University Health Network Psychosocial Oncology Program has also provided her with the unique ability to work with young people coping with physical, life-threatening, or chronic illness and/or pain, as well as children, adolescents, and their families coping with grief and bereavement.
For 7 years, Laura volunteered with Hospice Wellington providing grief support to families coping with the bereavement associated with the loss of beloved member of their lives. It was through her work with Hospice that she recognized the need for a dedicated non-profit centre to serve the grief and bereavement needs of children and youth in Guelph and Wellington County.
Laura grew up in Guelph, loves her roles as mother, stepmother, and aunt within a tribe of young people. In her spare time she enjoys spending time with friends, walking her two dogs, gardening, being physically active, and hanging out with her large and diverse family.
Jennifer is trusted business professional with over 25 years experience in Sales, Business Development, Finance and HR. As the Director of Finance & HR, for Fill it Forward in Guelph her goal is to support her team in their career growth, and to grow the company by providing support in all aspects of Accounting, Operations, Finance and HR.
As part of the Cambridge Highland Games volunteer committee in the early 2000’s, and a volunteer board member and coach with Cambridge Scorpions volleyball and a team member with Drayton Entertainment Jennifer has learned the value of partnerships and their impact on fundraising to ensure financial wellbeing and sustainability of not for profits and charitable organizations. Jennifer hopes to use her volunteer and business experience to help ensure financial stability for The Nightingale Centre.
After suffering tragic losses in 2018 Jennifer discovered that help specific for grieving families was available however the help was more geared for young adults and adults, not as much for younger children. In late 2021 Jennifer discovered The Nightingale Centre and was so fortunate to be chosen as a board member. One of her goals as a board member is to use her experiences with loss and grief can help other understand theirs.
Susan suffered the personal tragic loss of her son, Nicholas Lambden, in 2007. She was successful in finding bereavement support for herself, but was made aware of the lack of programs available for her daughter throughout their bereavement journey. Since then, she has found fulfillment in providing peer support to those who have also lost their children. She is most passionate about giving back to the community through her son’s foundation, which serves to support less fortunate youth through sports, education, and the arts.
Susan looks forward to supporting The Nightingale Centre’s mission in ensuring that bereaved children and youth will have a safe space to access the support and counselling that they need.
In 2007, Madison suffered the personal tragic loss of her younger brother, Nicholas Lambden. As a bereaved adolescent, Madison quickly realized the lack of both peer and professional support that was available to her. Throughout her grief journey, she has found healing in providing peer support to others and assisting in the development of her brother’s foundation, which serves to support less fortunate youth in the community through sports, education, and the arts. Madison’s personal experience coping with a significant loss at such a vulnerable age has fuelled her desire to give back to the grieving and bereaved individuals of the Guelph community through The Nightingale Centre.
As a Guelph native, Madison holds the community extremely close to her heart. She hopes to be able to spark a sense of hope among youth experiencing similar journeys with her story and the insight she has gained. More importantly, she wants to ensure that bereaved children, youth and their families in the Guelph community never have to feel as isolated as she once did.
John has had a professional career that closely intersects with the work that The Nightingale Centre does in the local community. Working with one of Canada’s largest bereavement sector employers, John spent 8 years as a senior manager and Regional Director of more than 10 cemeteries and funeral homes in Ontario. Having spent years working closely with grief John understands the unique impact it has on children and youth.
More recently, John made the decision to give back to his own community of Guelph in a more meaningful way and began the process of becoming a Social Worker and Psychotherapist. John has experience working with youth mental health, addictions, and housing, and is thrilled to be able to combine his bereavement and grief leadership experience in conjunction with his mental health training to ensure that The Nightingale Centre achieves its mission of ensuring bereaved children and youth will have the help and support that they need.
Ryan Vielma is a Senior Account Manager at Intrigue in Guelph. His goal is to live and breathe the company’s purpose - to empower leaders to strengthen communities. Everywhere Ryan goes, and everything he does is geared around the word “Community”, which is why The Nightingale Centre in Guelph is so important to him.
After graduating from Wilfrid Laurier University with a Bachelor’s of Business Administration (BBA), he joined the Laurier Alumni Relations department as a Communications Officer for the Annual Giving team. Ryan fell in love with the Laurier community and working with the Annual Giving team to raise funds to support the University, the students and the faculty was a perfect fit.
Born and raised in Guelph, Ryan feels a sense of pride and responsibility to see his community grow and flourish. Ryan is passionate about making a positive impact on people’s lives and is thrilled to be able to help The Nightingale Centre reach those who are grieving.
Dr. Bob Wickett
Madison Parson is an Associate Consultant with Parson & Associates Private Wealth Management in Guelph. She receives professional fulfillment assisting clients with complex financial planning and being a resource during life’s milestones. Madison’s long-term professional goal is to empower and educate Canadians to be financially proficient, especially those in vulnerable communities.
Madison is a mom to a beautiful 4 year old son and a sheepadoodle pup. She and her family are avid philanthropists through sponsorship of multiple local sports associations, the Canadian Cancer Society, The Princess Margaret Charity Organization, World Wildlife Foundation, The Heart & Stroke Foundation, and The Nightingale Centre.
After completing her degree at Wilfrid Laurier University in 2013, Madison returned to Guelph to join the family business. She now has the pleasure of raising her son in the beautiful township of Woolwich. Her hobbies include listening to self-development podcasts, reading fantasy novels, hiking, and travelling.
Madison takes great pride in being able to be involved with The Nightingale Centre.