Scroll down to learn more about FOCA’s Board of Directors


FOCA Staff

Terry Rees - Executive Director
Terry Rees

FOCA Executive Director

Lake Kasshabog Residents’ Assoc.

Terry has been a leader and innovator within the private and not-for-profit sectors for over 25 years, and is an active representative on numerous province-wide and bi-national committees related to water, the environment, and other community and sustainability issues.  He brings a unique perspective and background from progressive roles within the mining, minerals and petrochemical industry garnered across North America with several sector-leading organizations, and is a Certified Environmental Professional (EP).

After many years as a FOCA volunteer, Terry took on the role of Executive Director of FOCA in 2004. As leader of one of the largest membership associations in the Province, Terry is committed to building a strong community, and to working collaboratively with a broad range of partners to address the many complex challenges facing Ontario’s rural communities and our freshwater environments.

In 2016, Terry was featured as one of 100 “Voices for Science Communication” in the Science Borealis campaign. He was also recognized in 2016 by the Ontario Onsite Wastewater Association as a Corporate Steward. In 2012, Terry received an honour from Water Canada as a “Water’s Next” person representing Canadian water excellence.

Terry cottages on Lake Kasshabog.

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Michelle Lewin - Communications Coordinator
Michelle Lewin

FOCA Communications
& Development Coordinator

Michelle joined the staff in 2010 to beat the drum about the good work being done by FOCA. Her background is in communications and culture. She holds a BFA from Queen’s University and and MA from the University of Toronto.

Michelle oversees FOCA’s printed and electronic messaging, and works with our association members to distribute information to our 50,000 members across the Province. Michelle manages FOCA’s website and Elerts, as well as our annual Year in Review and Lake Stewards Newsletter productions.

Michelle also liaises with FOCA’s Corporate Sponsors. Contact Michelle if your organization is interested in partnering with FOCA to support our mandate of protecting Ontario’s waterfront experience.

Michelle’s formative years were spent at a family cottage on Lake Solitaire in the Huntsville area, at the old Limberlost Lodge property.

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Deanna Panitz - Membership & Programs Coordinator
Deanna Panitz

FOCA Membership
& Programs Coordinator

Deanna is the FOCA Membership & Programs Coordinator. She is a graduate of Trent University with a degree in Environmental Science and Geography, and in 2015 she completed the Environmental Technician program with Fleming College.

Deanna worked with FOCA as a summer student in 2014 before taking on the role of Membership and Programs Coordinator on a permanent basis.

She is your key contact for membership questions!

Deanna cottages on Catchacoma Lake.

Frances Wilbur
Frances Wilbur

FOCA Programs Manager

Effective January 2017, Frances Wilbur has returned to FOCA in the newly created position of Programs Manager, to assist FOCA’s member associations in building strong leadership and increasing local volunteerism.

Most recently, Frances led Peterborough’s Community Opportunity and Innovation Network as General Manager. Frances worked for FOCA prior to 2009, and before that she was an Environmental Planner and Group Leader with CH2M Hill Consulting Engineers in Toronto.

Frances holds a Masters of Environmental Studies (Planning) from York University, and an Honours Bachelor of Arts, Canadian Native Studies from Trent University. She is currently a volunteer member of the Ontario Non-Profit Network Policy Committee, which covers a number of issues relevant to FOCA and our membership.

Frances is a fourth-generation Stoney Lake cottager.

Christie Davies - Assistant Lake Stewardship Coordinator, DESC
Christie Davies

Assistant Lake
Stewardship Coordinator, DESC

Christie works at the Dorset Environmental Science Centre (DESC) as the Assistant Lake Stewardship Coordinator for the Lake Partner Program.

FOCA Board of Directors

Alphabetical listing (with Association affiliation):

Jeff Clark - Treasurer
Jeff Clark
FOCA Treasurer
Go Home Lake Cottage Association
Cottaging has been a very valued part of Jeff’s life. For 16 years at his in-law’s year-round cottage in the sandy beach area of Georgian Bay near Elmvale, and for the last 23 years at a seasonal cottage on a rocky island in Go Home Lake, his family’s passion for the value of experiencing a waterfront environment has grounded their lives. Jeff looks forward to preserving this opportunity for others through contributing to FOCA’s efforts as a Board member.

Jeff is a Professional Engineer, and holds a BASC in Industrial Engineering from the University of Toronto, as well as an MBA from the Rotman School, U of T. He has over 35 years experience in customer relations, supply chain, facilities, and fleet management, in both the private and public sectors. Jeff currently serves as Treasurer of the FOCA Board.

(Joined FOCA Board 2013)

Lynda Corkum - Director
Lynda Corkum
FOCA Director
Big Gull Lake East End Cottage Association

Lynda has a life-long interest in lakes and rivers, and their surrounding landscapes, which started as a youngster attending summer camp for 10 years in the Haliburton Highlands and in Algonquin Park. It was because of these outdoor interests that Lynda pursued her graduate degrees and a distinguished career in biology. At the University of Windsor, Lynda has been an active researcher in the field of Aquatic Ecology, trained students and taught courses in Animal Behaviour, Applied Ecology, Ecology, Community Ecology and Stream Ecology. The bulk of Lynda’s research focused on the behaviour and ecology of the invasive fish species, the Round Goby. She has travelled widely as a researcher and as a nature enthusiast. Among other notable roles, Lynda was a reviewer for Great Lakes Area of Concern Action Plans, Past President of the International Association of Great Lakes Research (IAGLR), and is on the Committee on the Status of Endangered Wildlife in Canada (COSEWIC).

(Joined FOCA Board 2015)

Robert Cummins - Director
Robert Cummins
FOCA Director
Gull Lake Cottagers Association
Rob has 15 years experience in both sales and marketing roles in financial services. He has worked with Manulife Bank in Toronto and ING DIRECT Bank Canada. Rob is the current President of the Gull Lake Cottagers Association following several years on the GLCA Board of Directors. His efforts within his own association are currently dedicated to re-evaluating the member value proposition, increasing the association’s member engagement team.
While his years have been primarily spent in Haliburton, Rob brings familiarity with a large Ontario landscape through his extensive travels from Thunder Bay to Ottawa Valley, Amerstburg to Tobermory, and Collingwood through Killarney and Algonquin. Rob attended Mount Allison University in New Brunswick.

(Joined FOCA Board 2011)

Craig Dawson - Director
Craig Dawson
FOCA Director
Barrow Bay Property Owners’ Association

Here’s my story: I came to my family cottage on the Bruce Peninsula for the first time, while I was “in the womb.” My grandfather had camped close to here after World War I, and loved it so much be bought some property and built a cottage in 1936. After he built, he began to buy up nearby lots as they became available, and our road now houses (or cottages) my family, my brother’s family, my sister’s family, my Dad, My Aunt, and two cousin’s families, all within 100 yards of my home.

Aerial Photo of Barrow BayOur association, the Barrow Bay Property Owners Association (BBPOA), was founded by my grandfather in 1954, and he served as president for 8 years. My father also spent 6 years as president, and I am now on my eighth year as president. We have held family picnics, boat races, golf tournaments, and many other fundraisers over the years. Our lake is unique in that it is an inland lake (Little Lake) on the Bruce Peninsula, with a navigable channel out to Georgian Bay. It is considered a harbour of safe refuge by Transport Canada – Marine, and serves boaters in distress on Georgian Bay. Most of our fundraisers go to keeping the channel open and navigable for our members’ boats. BBPOA is a member of FOCA, and I now serve on the FOCA Board of Directors. FOCA helped us apply for a reassessment of our members’ boat launch property with MPAC, resulting in a tax rebate of $476.75 in 2016 alone.

We have spent many summer holidays and weekends here at Barrow Bay over the years, but we made the permanent move to live here, year round in 2007. It’s a great place to live; I wish I had done it sooner.”

1187042_10153241035275121_368891564_nMore about Craig: Recently retired as a project manager at Bruce Power nuclear power facility near Kincardine Ontario, Craig has volunteered for several organizations that strive to improve the way of life for many residents of the Bruce Peninsula. He also serves on the board of the Bruce Peninsula Association for Community Living and the Bruce Peninsula Biosphere Association. He is a member of the North Bruce Peninsula Property Owners’ Coalition, the Barrow Bay District Sports Fishing Association, and the Economic Development Committee of the Municipality of Northern Bruce Peninsula.

(Joined FOCA Board 2016)

Ken Grant - President
Ken Grant
FOCA Past President
Big Gull Lake East End Cottage Association

Ken has been a cottage owner in North Frontenac for 30 years and for the last 26 years has been the Environmental Steward on Big Gull Lake. He has held the position of President of the Association for the last 10 years. Ken is a retired Federal Public Service Executive with 28 years experience in Management and Human Resources.

Since retirement, Ken has consulted with several foreign governments including China, Philippines, Malaysia, and Singapore. Ken helped to develop a septic reinspection program for the Municipality of North Frontenac, and sits on the Mississippi River Water Management Plan Advisory Committee.

Ken is interested in all matters of Lake Stewardship including keeping lakes as healthy as possible, minimizing pollution sources from cottages and boats, ensuing that our local fishery is healthy, educating cottagers about their environment and how to maintain it for future generations.

(Joined FOCA Board 2011)

Marlin Horst - Director
Marlin Horst
FOCA Director
Baptiste Lake Association
Marlin is a partner in the law firm of Shibley Righton LLP in Toronto and is also a Sessional Instructor at the Queen’s University Faculty of Law. He has practiced corporate commercial law in both Toronto and Bermuda. Marlin has a BA and an LL.B from the University of Western Ontario and a Masters of Law from Cambridge University. In the Fall of 2006, Marlin and his wife purchased their cottage on Baptiste Lake. Prior to that they had rented cottages most every year, even while living in Bermuda, all over Southern Ontario from Muskoka, to the Kawarthas, to eastern Ontario and the area around Bancroft. Shortly after purchasing their cottage, Marlin became involved with the Baptiste Lake Association and has been a director of the BLA since 2009 and President since 2011. He is also involved in a number of interlake groups around Hastings Highlands and beyond. Marlin and his family relish the unspoiled view of the lake from their screened in porch and decks at their cottage and he wants to ensure that the view, and similar views all across Ontario, remain in place for future generations.

(Joined FOCA Board 2016)

Jim Kaufman - Director
Jim Kaufman
FOCA Vice President
Kawagama Lake Cottagers Association
Jim has been a “cottager” since 1954 when his uncle bought a small cottage on Kawagama Lake. Since that time, Jim and his wife Janis have built 2 cottages on Kawagama; raised 3 children who spent time in every season “at the lake”; and now have 3 grandchildren who are enjoying all that cottage life has to offer.

Jim is the President of the Kawagama Lake Cottagers Association; Chair of St.Pauls L’Amoureau Center; and Vice Chair of the MNR’s LCC Committee for the French-Severn Forest. Jim graduated from Ryerson and joined Westinghouse Electric Corp in 1967. He held various management positions with WEC until 1992 when Westinghouse divested all operating units. At that time Jim became WESCO District Manager for Construction and Datacom operations in the GTA.

Jim and Janis moved to Thornbury in 2010. They have a keen interest in downhill and cross-country skiing; travelling; and of course cottaging.

(Joined FOCA Board 2011)

Terry Kennedy - Director
Terry Kennedy
FOCA President
Kennebec Lake Association
Terry has been involved with the Kennebec Lake Association for twelve years and has provided leadership as its President/Chair for the past ten. Current activities include working with the local township council and staff toward the development and implementation of a mandatory septic re-inspection program. Terry has also been involved in programs with Quinte Conservation and currently serves on its Source Water Protection Committee as the environmental representative.

Terry initially purchased property on Kennebec Lake in Eastern Ontario in the early 1970’s and after building a cottage, spent many happy years there as a seasonal cottager. Following retirement from a 35-year career in education, including 20 years as a high school principal in Toronto, Terry and his wife Judy relocated to Kennebec Lake where they built a new home and continue to enjoy lakeside living full-time. Some of their happiest times involve sharing the joys of cottage life with three grown sons and their families. Terry became the FOCA President in 2016.

(Joined FOCA Board 2013)

Steven Kerr - Director
Steven Kerr
FOCA Director
Jack Lake Association

Steve has been an active cottager for more than fifty years and has a deep respect for the natural environment. He is a strong believer in the importance of volunteers and the value of citizen science. He has served as Director (Environment) for the Jack Lake Association (JLA) since 2013. Since 2015, he has also served as a Director with the Federation of Ontario Cottagers Associations (FOCA).

Steve worked as a fisheries biologist for the Ontario MInistry of Natural Resources (MNR) at several locations across the province. He retired in 2012 after a career of 36 years. During his years at MNR Steve prepared the first district fisheries management plan in Ontario (1987), coordinated work planning and program delivery for the Eastern Region fisheries program, authored or co-authored more than 250 technical reports and publications on fish and fisheries management and, most recently, served as a policy advisor for the provincial fisheries management program.

Steve has been a member in good standing of the American Fisheries Society (AFS) since 1978 and was designated as an AFS Certified Fisheries Scientist in 1998. He is an Honourary Life Member of Muskies Canada Inc. (MCI) and was elected into the MCI Hall of Fame in 2010. Steve is an avid angler and spends a lot of time “on the water.”

(Joined FOCA Board 2015)

Bruce Moore - Director
Bruce Moore
FOCA Director
Canonto Lake Property Owners Association

Bruce’s friends and professional colleagues describe him as a social activist. As a FOCA speaker, in November 2015, he described lessons he learned from community organizations in Africa, Asia and Latin America that can help cottagers across Ontario to build more sustainable communities and inclusive lake associations. Over his international career, spanning 37years, he has always aimed to strengthen community-based organizations as the agents of local development. He hopes that his experience in the not-for-profit sector followed by ten years as a senior United Nations diplomat can be useful to FOCA members by deepening the ways for cottager’s interests to be better acted upon by officials at all levels.

Bruce and his wife Anne have been cottagers since 1986 when they bought vacant property on Canonto Lake (1.5 hours from Ottawa), self-building the lake house that is the family’s common meeting point. In 2007 Bruce and Anne were among the core group of cottagers that founded the Canonto Lake Property Owners Association. First Anne and now Bruce serves on the Executive Committee. In addition, Bruce chaired the lake planning committee, whose Lake Stewardship Plan was widely endorsed by the community in 2012 and noted by North Frontenac Township to be the first plan in the municipality. A more recent project was to convene community volunteers, from the wider area, to restore the walking trails in the Palmerston Canonto Conservation Area, something to be replicated in other parts of the Township.

(Joined FOCA Board 2016)

Nancy Salmijarvi - Director
Nancy Salmijarvi
FOCA Director
Lake of the Woods District Property Owners Association


Nancy has been involved with the LOWDPOA Board since 2010, and is Chair of the LOWDPOA Enviornmental Committee. After working more than 30 years in the airline industry, Nancy took early retirement and is now a permanent resident in the Kenora area.

Having worked primarily in Northern Ontario and Manitoba, Nancy has a clear understanding of issues facing the north, and good relationships with many partners in the district. She also served a term on Kenora City Council. Nancy’s favourite things about lake life include fishing, wildlife, clean air and great times with friends and family.

(Joined FOCA Board 2012)

Kay Soares - Secretary
Kay Soares
FOCA Secretary
Severn River Association of Property Owners
President of SRAPO for 8 years, and prior to that, 3 years as Secretary, Kay has been active in the areas of abusive Crown land camping, garbage collection, Family Regatta and others. SRAPO has over 60% of members who are water access, and deal with 3 Townships on an ongoing basis, 2 County’s/District, the Province, and Federal bodies (Parks Canada/TSW).

Kay’s educational background is in Television Production from Ryerson University, which lead to CBC Television where she worked for 36 years, mostly in Management areas. Kay was co-chair in the CBC Employee Assistance Program for 3 years and on the Advisory Board for De Lassalle School for 3 years. Kay is the Secretary of the FOCA Board of Directors.

(Joined FOCA Board 2011)

Ian White - Director
Ian White
FOCA Director
Lake of Bays Association
Ian has a long history of waterfront living, having cottaged at Lake Simcoe for over 50 years, and at Lake of Bays since 2003. Ian is a Past-President of the Crescent Harbour Association and the Crescent Harbour Tennis Club (Innisfil), and is now the President of LOBA, where he has also served as Membership Chair and Area Steward. Ian has his MBA, is a Mechanical Engineer, and has had a successful career in marketing and management primarily in the forestry industry. He spends time at the lake year ‘round, where he has dedicated significant effort providing representation at local, district, provincial and federal levels of government on issues relating to the protection, enjoyment and services pertaining to waterfront living.

(Joined FOCA Board 2014)

jaymcevansOur Team