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Meet Our New Board Members

June 29th, 2016

During our Annual General Meeting on June 23, 2016, with our current board and gallery members, we elected four new members to our Board of Trustees. A warm welcome to our new Trustees and thank you to all who applied for these positions.


Shashi Bhatia

Among Shashi’s many contributions are included her founding of the Indo-Canadian Cultural Association of Durham whose programs are designed to promote tolerance and understanding among all.  She is co-chair: DRPS and Diversity Advisory Committee, member: Public Library Board, member: Multi-faith Communities of Durham, member: Durham Cultural Collective, an Influencer: Canadian Armed Forces, Chair: South Asian and Asian Heritage Festival and Chaired: fund raising initiatives for the Durham West Arts Centre. Member: Durham delegation to Turkey, China and to Trinidad to promote Durham Region and Pickering Ambassador to India. Shashi is the recipient of a number of awards for her volunteer efforts including Queen Elizabeth Diamond Jubilee award.


Cheryl Blackman

Cheryl is Assistant Vice-President, Audience at the Royal Ontario Museum(ROM). Her responsibilities include ensuring a quality experience, managing the front of house and audience research. Cheryl is the main point of contact for the Museum’s 1300+ vibrant Volunteers, and she leads the ROM’s Community Access Network which she has grown into more than 40 partnerships with groups across the GTHA. Cheryl’s leadership and commitment to inclusion has grown this area into a highly successful part of the ROM where the Museum regularly achieves high satisfaction levels amongst visitors and wins awards for innovation in all aspects of access and community building. Cheryl has a deep belief in lifelong learning which she tapped into while completing her MBA. Cheryl’s focus was Hospitality and Tourism management. Prior to joining the ROM in 2004, Cheryl had a distinguished 16 year career at Air Canada. In her last role at the airline, she was seconded to the Terminal 1 New team and served as the Manager of Training.


Kevin Dougherty

As the Associate Dean in the School of Interdisciplinary Studies at Durham College he is responsible for the administration, and delivery of all Communications and General Education curriculum as well as the General Arts and Sciences certificate programs housed in the school.  Prior to becoming Associate Dean, he held a faculty position in the School of Business, IT and Management at Durham College for 17 years responsible for curriculum development and delivery in the areas of programming, database design and business systems analysis.  A graduate of Information Systems at Durham College he also holds a M.A. in Adult Education and Digital Technologies from UOIT.  His research focuses on the adoption of digital technologies into the teaching and learning practices of community college faculty across Ontario.  His previous governance experience includes six years as the elected faculty member to the Board of Governors for Durham College during which time he also was a member and vice-chair of the Audit and Finance Committee of the Board.


Gerard O’Neill

Gerard was born in Ireland and raised in Toronto. He graduated from the Universities of Windsor and Toronto and year retired from teaching after twenty-five extraordinary years in Durham in 2015.  He fills his days as an executive member of the Retired Teachers of Ontario, the chair of the Legends Community Garden, and avid Blue Jays fan. He loves to travel with his wife and explore the many destinations that make up our ever growing “Bucket List”. With their large, and unruly dog Daphne, he lives a friend filled quiet life in Oshawa.





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