Our Forward House Teams

Our Direct Support Professionals

Forward House recognizes the value and importance of our Direct Support Professionals who are the heart of our organization. They are the team leaders and team members who work day and night to ensure the excellence of our services and supports.

Our Leadership

Everyday we strive to make decisions which reflect our Vision and Mission. As a team, we have been able to both remember the history of our people and organization as well as working towards a better future together. We take pride in knowing the people and providing the individualized supports which allow them to thrive.

sue bates

Sue Bates


Sue joined the management team at Forward House in 2000 after working as a Direct Support Professional here for ten years. Sue has managed a variety of residential homes and has been essential in introducing various technological advances which have allowed the agency to improve our record keeping and staff training. Sue’s previous work experiences include a Counsellor at a camp for children of all abilities and work at other developmental services organizations. She completed her Developmental Services diploma at Fanshawe College. Sue is a talented artist and an avid gardener in her spare time.


Tate Lincoln


Tate has been a Manager of various residential programs since 2006 after working as a Direct Support Professional at Forward House from 1995-2005. Interestingly, he completed one of his placements at Forward House before graduating from the Developmental Services Diploma program. Tate spent years providing supports for individuals with acquired brain injuries. He has also completed a management certificate at Western. On his days off, Tate can be found fly fishing in the Thames River.


Shannon Marsh


Shannon is the most recent addition to the management team in 2020. She offers a fresh perspective and a wealth of knowledge about working as a Direct Support Professional. She started with Forward House in 1998 and was in a team leadership role at various locations for 20 years. Shannon is a Manager of several residential locations and a Developmental Services program graduate from Fanshawe College. In her spare time, Shannon and her family have fundraised extensively for a charitable organization close to their hearts.

Lisa T

Lisa Tapp


Lisa started with Forward House in 1989 after completing her Developmental Service Worker diploma from Fanshawe College. Originally a Support Worker at our Community Integration day program, she initiated the closing of that program and the move to home-based supports. She has been a Manager since 1996. Lisa’s current role includes management of various residential locations including several supported independent living residences. She manages the Forward House Passport Program for clients who do not receive residential supports and she liaises with a group of other agencies in the Thames Valley who address community needs in our area. Many years ago, Lisa helped a family pioneer a unique support circle and individualized supports for a woman who needed intensive supports. When Lisa isn’t working, she enjoys the cottage life with her family.


Lisa Vizniowski


Lisa began her career at Forward House in 1993 as a Direct Support Professional and has worked with other community organizations including CPRI. She has been a Manager of various residential programs since 2000. Lisa has been one of the Crisis Prevention instructors at Forward House for many years and has knowledge and skills supporting individuals with Attachment disorder and Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder. She has a Bachelor’s degree in psychology (McGill), her Developmental Service diploma (Fanshawe College) and has further developed her management skills in two different certificate programs at Western. Lisa volunteers with a local children’s camp. She loves to go camping throughout Canada with her family during her vacations.


Mark Gowing

Executive Director

Mark joined Forward House in 2019 as the Executive Director. He has a varied social services employment background (Developmental Services, Addictions, Mental Health, Child Protection Indigenous Services, Youth Justice, Federal & Provincial Corrections, Homelessness). Mark holds a degree in Psychology & Sociology from Guelph University and professional certificates in Not-For-Profit Management and Mediation & Alternative Dispute Resolution from Western. Mark is passionate about strength-based leadership, encouraging Forward House to reflect the diversity of our community, building strong agency & community partnerships and balancing community needs with strategic planning. Mark’s personal interests include sports, cooking and crime drama.

Wendy McIntosh

Finance Director

Wendy has been Forward House’s Finance Director since 2011. She has worked as a chartered accountant in the non-profit sector for over 30 years and she taught accounting through Fanshawe College’s Continuing Education program. Wendy teaches spin classes and occasionally does personal training with seniors or individuals with developmental disabilities. Over the years she has volunteered at the YMCA, created one of the first Learn to Run programs and run many marathons. Wendy is a proud parent and grandparent.

Kelly Fraleigh

Administrative Assistant

Kelly has been the Administrative Assistant with Forward House since 1988. Kelly is a graduate of Fanshawe College, with a Business Management/Accounting Diploma. Kelly works with the Management team of Forward House to ensure the administrative details of the agency are accomplished efficiently and professionally. Kelly has volunteered with many youth organizations, and has chaired many fund-raising events as well as served on the Board of Directors of Navy League of Canada. Kelly is inspired daily by her family. In her free time, Kelly likes to bake, hike and spend time with her five grandchildren.


Our Board of Directors

Graham Briscoe


Graham is a physician currently practicing sport medicine and emergency medicine, and he holds an Assistant Professor appointment with the Department of Family Medicine at Western University. Dr. Briscoe earned his MBA at the Odette School of Business, MD at Western University, and he finished his residency training in Family Medicine in 2015.

Charmain Chadwick


Charmaine Chadwick is an ABA Consultant at Huron-Perth Catholic District School Board and a part-time instructor in the Autism and Behavioural Sciences Program at Fanshawe College.  In both roles, she supports educators and young adults in incorporating evidence-based strategies to support learning and active participation in inclusive school environments.  Charmaine has a long-standing history with Forward House as she started her career in this field as a staff member on our team many years ago.

Mike Cvetkovich


Mike has worked in Child Welfare for over 35 years with the last 17 years as a Supervisor at the Children’s Aid Society of London and Middlesex.  He has significant experience with the Developmental Sector, Mental Health, Addictions, Education and practice from the Family of Origin theory and perspective. He is a strong advocate for individuals recognized with special needs. His educational background includes a Masters Degree in Social Work (Laurier), BSW, BA in Sociology  (Western) and a Recreation Diploma.

Shawn McMahon


Shawn is a Controller who works in the private sector in both Canada and the United States. He completed his diplomas in Accounting and Business Finance at Fanshawe College and has 27 years of experience in managerial accounting and finance.

Keith Mepham


Keith is currently the board chair and he has a daughter who has been supported by Forward House since 2008. He was a self-employed entrepreneur prior to his retirement.

Karen O’Brien


Karen is a registered nurse with extensive experience working in community settings. She worked as a professor in the Nursing Department at Fanshawe College.

Kathleen Parker


Kathleen has worked in Children’s Mental Health for 25 plus years. She is passionate about advocating for those most vulnerable and assisting with progressive positive change. Kathleen brings a range of leadership roles and collaborative work experiences with not for profit organizations to her role. Kathleen hopes to be part of long-term systemic change in improving services in her community.

Christopher Sherrin


Christopher joined the faculty at Western in 2006 after obtaining a Doctor of Philosophy (Osgoode), Master of Laws (Osgoode), Bachelor of Laws (McGill), and an Honours Bachelor of Arts (University of Toronto). His primary areas of interest are criminal law and procedure, evidence, and the Charter. He has a particular interest in the study of wrongful convictions and reliability in the criminal justice process.


Many thanks to both our current and past volunteer board members for their hard work!