Heartache2Hope is a volunteer organization serving the Halton/Peel area. All of our peer support groups are facilitated by professionals from various backgrounds. Our group facilitators all have experience in grief/ bereavement support and in group facilitation. All facilitators are trained in SAFEtalk and have completed traumatic bereavement support group training.

Our Team Members

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    Flavia Ceschin, PhD, RP, Founder and Executive Director

    Flavia is a Registered Psychotherapist with the College of Registered Psychotherapists of Ontario. She holds a PhD in Clinical Psychology from Concordia University in Montreal. Her clinical training and work have focused on children, youth, and their families. Flavia has a certificate in Grief and Bereavement Education and specific training on the unique aspects of Suicide Loss, Complicated Grief, and Traumatic Loss.

    Flavia brings clinical training, focus and direction to H2H. Currently she works as a psychotherapist, grief counselor and educator in private practice in the Oakville area since 2012, providing counselling and therapy to children, teens and adults coping with PTSD, depression, anxiety, and loss due to the serious illness or death of someone important to them. Flavia is very involved in the Halton community in a volunteer capacity. She is on the Professional Advisory Council of Bereaved Families of Ontario (Halton/Peel) and on the Bereavement Program Advisory Committee of Acclaim Health. She has facilitated Spousal Loss support groups for Acclaim Health and Widowed Friends of Halton. She is currently a member of the Halton Suicide Prevention Coalition.

    In addition, Flavia served as the Program Director at The Lighthouse Program for Grieving Children from 2008-2012. She worked with hundreds of grieving children, teens and adults through grief support groups, family consultations, educational workshops, and support group facilitator recruitment and training. It is during her time at The Lighthouse that she became aware of the need for a service that offered suicide loss support in the Halton region.

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    Sharlene Plewman, MBA, Chief Administrative Officer

    Sharlene Plewman brings over 20 years of experience leading service organisations in both the not-for-profit and private sector, spanning the fields of wellness, community and small business support, retail, among others.  She completed her Master of Business Administration with Cornell and Queen’s Universities and enjoys giving back to her community as a school and community volunteer.

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    Kaitlyn Serediuk, MA, RP, Coordinator of Bereavement Services

    Kaitlyn is a Registered Psychotherapist with the College of Registered Psychotherapists of Ontario. She has extensive experience supporting individuals in both private practice and community health settings with various challenges including anxiety, depression and loss. Kaitlyn works from a trauma-informed lens where she draws on evidence-based therapeutic techniques including Cognitive Behavioural Therapy, Cognitive Processing Therapy, and Mindfulness. She is passionate about supporting others in building resiliency, finding hope, and improving their overall wellbeing. 

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    Amanda Côté, BA, CYW, BSW, Bereavement Care Coordinator - Children and Youth

    Amanda is a registered social worker and Child and Youth Worker who brings extensive experience working in child and youth mental health services. Since 2016, she has helped young people in crisis, within both inpatient and outpatient treatment settings. Her clinical experience includes providing individual counselling and group therapy. Amanda provides support to individuals with a trauma-informed and anti-oppressive lens. She works within a Narrative Therapy and Emotion-Focused Therapy framework, while pulling skills from Dialectical Behaviour Therapy. Her training and experience in mindfulness and trauma allow her to help traumatically bereaved individuals reconnect to the body and calm the stress response. Amanda strives to support individuals through grief and loss with a compassionate, caring, and empathetic approach.

    Please connect with Amanda if you have questions about supporting a child, teen, or young adult in your life.

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    Nicole Johnson-Mighty, Director of Development

    Nicole brings to Heartache2Hope creativity, a deep understanding of fundraising best practices and ideologies, policies and practices, and tangible experience advancing an organizational culture of philanthropy in a for-profit or not-for-profit environment. Nicole studied Political Science at Athabasca University and is passionate about programming to empower and renew those who need it most. She has been a passionate advocate for philanthropy and project management for over 10 years. Her expertise ranges from creating philanthropic framework and programming within local grassroots not-for-profit organizations to internationally known multi-million-dollar poverty relief charities. Her past experience in poverty relief programs and projects with a focus on developing, implementing, and overseeing humanitarian relief strategies serves as a catalyst for success within the organizations that she serves.

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    Daniella Silvestri, BA, MA Candidate, Program Assistant

    Daniella has been with Heartache2Hope since 2019. She started as a placement student, and is currently the Volunteer Coordinator, a support group facilitator, and on the planning committee for International Survivors of Suicide Day. She assists with Fundraising and is a Volunteer Extraordinaire. Daniella has an Honors Bachelor of Applied Science in Psychology and is currently working on her Master of Arts in Counseling Psychology at Yorkville University.

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    Cassidy Tyler, BA, MSc Candidate, Social Media and Email Marketing

    Cassidy has been the Program Assistant for Heartache2Hope since April 2020, providing administrative support in the day-to-day operations and coordinating our social media. Cassidy has her Bachelor of Arts in Psychology from McGill University and is currently working on her Master of Science in Public Health (Mental Health stream).


Our Board of Directors

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    Laura Machan – Chair

    Laura is a Partner in LHH Knightsbridge’s Recruitment Solutions Practice. She is a graduate of the University of Toronto and holds certificates in Human Resources Management from the Rotman School of Business and Adult Education.  She has more than 15 years of Human Resource Management and Recruiting experience in different industries.  With a passion for advocacy, she has led initiatives with the Canadian Federation of University Women. She was a member of the Board of Directors of Women in Nuclear and Co-Chair for the Sponsorship Committee for the WIN Global Conference in 2020.

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    Michael David Marco, MBA, CPA, CMA, CRMA, ICD.D – Secretary, Finance

    Michael is a Chartered Professional Accountant (CPA/CMA) and completed the Institute of Corporate Directors designation (ICD.D) in 2016. Michael has over 40 years of experience, including executive positions at Royal Bank, Aviva Canada, Intact, The Co-operators, and Allianz Global Assistance. He is currently VP Finance & Technology at Fred Victor Centre. Michael completed his Master of Business Administration at Concordia University and holds a Certificate in Risk Management Assurance designation. Michael has been involved with Heartache2Hope from the beginning serving as Treasurer and, more recently, as Secretary. In addition to Heartache2Hope, Michael is past Chair on the Board at Acclaim Health.

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    Anil Bhalla, DDS – Member, Chair Outreach

    Anil has been practicing dentistry for more than 20 years with a career span of 4 years in India and then in Canada after graduating from University of Toronto faculty of dentistry. He’s the past president of Halton Peel Dental Association and is actively involved with seniors’ oral care and education core committees. He is in his 11th year as a counsellor with Halton Peel Region for provincial dental organization council and is continuously striving to deal with issues like access to care, government relations and advocacy for the profession. He is currently serving on the Component Society Committee of Ontario Dental Association representing Halton, Peel, Hamilton, Burlington & Niagara Peninsula. He has also been inducted into the International College of Dentists & The Pierre Fauchard Academy. Anil initiated “Loonie a Patient Program” in partnership with United Way. This program donated a loonie for every patient appointment. He also initiated “Free Dentistry Days with Dr. Bhalla” in 2008 where he provided free cleanings and one issue resolution (e.g., filling, extraction, emergency care) for patients.

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    Ms. M. Janet Kasperski RN, MHSc, CHE

    Jan has both professional and personal understandings of the acute suffering endured by loved ones of people of all ages who die by suicide – and, the lack of services to meet their overwhelming needs. Jan is a clinician, an administrator, an educator, a researcher, and a consultant. She is a sought-after board member and serves as a Patient/Family Advisor at the local, provincial, and national level. Jan has driven two healthcare professional associations from obscurity to the limelight; namely, the Ontario College of Family Physicians and the Ontario Psychological Association. Jan is highly skilled in government, media and physician/healthcare professional relations and is known as a “connector” with an extensive provincial, national and international professional network. Jan currently is the driving force behind the development of Resilient Kids Canada, a Registered Charity, whose focus on ensuring that young children have the best start in life possible – and, thereby, a pathway forward armed with the coping skills to face challenges in life.

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    Jill LePage, CPA, CA - Treasurer, Finance

    Jill is a Chartered Professional Accountant (CPA/CA). She has over 30 years of experience, including leadership positions at Golder Associates, Innomar Strategies, Englobe, Loblaw, and Pitney Bowes.  Her expertise lies in Financial Stewardship, strategic planning, transformation, and capability building.

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    Keri Petruzza, B.Com – Member, Marketing

    Keri is an experienced Leader with a passion for people and development. She has a demonstrated history of successful team building and process improvements in the health care and hospitality industry. Keri is currently the Director of Customer Success at Mister Safety Shoes Inc. She brings to Heartache2Hope her passion and skills in Coaching, customer experience, Team Building, Employee development and sales strategy.

  • Mathew Dyck , Member

    Bio coming soon.

  • Rory Fitzpatrick, Member

    Bio coming soon.

  • Marilynne Madigan, Member

    Bio coming soon.