Meet our CNIB Lake Joe Team
Meet Our Staff
Monique Pilkington, National Director, CNIB Eye Van & Executive Director, CNIB Lake Joe
Monique joined the CNIB Lake Joe team in 2016 as Executive Director. She is passionate about the ‘magic of camp’ and believes CNIB Lake Joe brings people together while building independence, and enabling people of all ages to live life to the fullest through recreation, sports and leisure. Prior to joining the CNIB Lake Joe team, Monique held a variety of roles at CNIB. As Regional Director for CNIB Ontario North, she led the implementation of The Path to Change and launched the CNIB Foundation in Northern Ontario. Monique is also the National Director for the Medical Mobile Eye Care Unit (CNIB Eye Van), a program that serves 4,500 Northern Ontario patients annually – it achieved international recognition during her 23-year tenure as manager. In 2010, Monique received the national CNIB Grace Worts Staff Service Award, recognizing her outstanding commitment to the advancement of services for people living with sight loss. Monique has a deep appreciation for volunteers, having originally joined CNIB as Coordinator, Volunteer Services in 1989. Monique’s home base is the CNIB Sudbury Community Hub, but she’s often found heading down the highway to spend time at CNIB Lake Joe!
Eugene Chong, General Manager, CNIB Lake Joe
With over 20 years of experience, Eugene has held various senior leadership positions in camps and recreation programs across the country. Prior to joining Lake Joe in 2017, Eugene worked in the cultural sector for a large contemporary arts organization in Toronto. In that role, he managed educational programs (including one of the largest camp operations in Ontario) and was awarded the Gift of Belonging Award for providing exemplary inclusive programs and practices for individuals with special needs. A passionate camp professional, Eugene is a Fellow with The Society of Camp Directors. In his spare time, he volunteers with the Ontario Camps Association (OCA) as the Chair, Membership Committee; a designated mentor, and a Senior Standards Visitor with the OCA accreditation program. In 2016, he received an OCA Volunteer Recognition Award for his dedication to the work of camps in Ontario. In the summer, you'll find Eugene chatting with guests, embracing the water and sharing his passion for fishing with others.
Lindsay Garrett, Camp Program Manager, CNIB Lake Joe
Since May 2019 Lindsay has thrived in her role as Camp Program Manager with Lake Joe. Lindsay lives in Bracebridge but her heart lives at the curling club in Gravenhurst. She has a Bachelor of Education from the University of Western Ontario and an Honours Bachelor of Arts in Psychology from Carleton University. Before joining the Lake Joe team, she excelled as a teacher and has a wide range of experience creating and evaluating programs for diverse groups. She is passionate about making a difference, which was made apparent when she was named the recipient of the 2015 Brant Children’s Centre “Teacher of the Year” award. Throughout her career, Lindsay has demonstrated a commitment to providing safe, high quality, engaging programs and the ability to develop rapport and strengthen relationships with others. She loves a good board game night, enjoys hiking, curling and taking her dog, Jefferson for walks. As a lifelong learner, she is excited to further develop her skills in American Sign Language (ASL) and hopes to complete her first knitting project. In the summer, you’ll find Lindsay making sure her office is kept neat and tidy while also planning exciting activities for the guests and staff at Lake Joe!
Kelly Hayes, Guest Services Lead & Office Coordinator, CNIB Lake Joe
Kelly joined the Lake Joe team as the Guest Services Lead and Office Coordinator in June of 2019, relocating to Muskoka from the Niagara region. She has a Bachelor of Recreation and Leisure Services from Brock University, and a post-grad certificate in Therapeutic Recreation from Lambton College (in which she received the Dean’s Award!). Kelly has a passion for helping people to improve their quality of life, and also has many years of customer service and administrative experience. She enjoys interacting with diverse populations - children, people with disabilities, parents, seniors and community members. Above all, Kelly has an upbeat and positive personality with a natural ability to connect with others. She shows demonstrated warmth, a sense of humour (with a loud, contagious laugh!), creativity and a strong skill set in taking initiative, organization, time management and teamwork. Kelly has lived in 4 different provinces, enjoys travelling (visited Australia, New Zealand, Thailand, Jamaica and The Cayman Islands) and participated in the Katimavik volunteer program. She loves reading, cooking vegetarian meals, music and hiking. During the summer, you’ll find her chatting with guests or enjoying a peaceful moment by the lake!
Sherri Helsdingen, Lead, Community Engagement and Team Operations
Sherri has been working with CNIB since 2012 as part of the Simcoe/Muskoka team in Barrie and was thrilled to join the CNIB Lake Joe team in May 2019. With a passion for health promotion, Sherri has spent most of her career in health-related charities and loves being able to contribute to programs that promote health and independence for people of all ages and abilities. Sherri is happiest when focused on the things she loves most – volunteer engagement, communications, event planning and project management – but never did she imagine that this work could involve things like waterskiing, tandem bicycling and outdoor pizza-making! In 2015 Sherri was the recipient of the CNIB Employee of the Year Award for the GTA region. She can't believe how lucky she is to work all day, every day with people who give so much of themselves to bring the magic of camp to life for people with sight loss. In her free time, Sherri is busy volunteering at a local cat shelter (she confesses to being a bit of a crazy cat lady) and is brushing up on her tie dye skills for the 2020 Camp season.
Barry Quick, Facility Operator, CNIB Lake Joe
Since 2012, Barry has been responsible for maintaining the property at Lake Joe and keeping it luscious and beautiful. His passion for the camp and commitment to accessibility is apparent across the entire 12.5-acre site. After spending most of his life in southwestern Ontario, Barry now calls Muskoka home. When he's not at camp, Barry volunteers with the Seguin Fire Service and loves to spend as much time as possible fishing. Barry and the rest of the facility team can’t wait for another amazing summer on the shores of Lake Joe!
Willow, CNIB Ambassador Dog
Willow joined the CNIB Lake Joe team in 2018 as an Ambassador Dog. She’s responsible for promoting CNIB Guide Dogs and educating guests about the important role of guide dogs. Willow loves being outdoors! When she’s not running around CNIB Lake Joe or having a snooze in the office, she’s at home with Barry, our facilities operator. In her spare time, she does some modelling – you’ll find Miss October in the 2020 calendar for CNIB Guide Dogs.