On behalf of the Board of Directors I wish to welcome you to the Banyan website. Our organization has a deep and rich history serving some of the most vulnerable populations in our City.

We are dedicated to providing our community with high quality, accessible and safe programs and services. Working together with our staff of dedicated personnel, Banyan is focused on improving the experiences and outcomes of the people we serve through the delivery of our services. While many exciting projects are in progress in our organization, we are most gratified when we can offer our clients effective, safe and considerate care.

Banyan has been providing programs and services since 1978. In that time, we have acquired a diverse range of knowledge and expertise to assist children and young people in need of support and advocacy throughout the Niagara, Hamilton, Simcoe, Haldimand and Brant regions. We are known for our quick response to emerging needs and innovative approach to service.

I look forward to working with all of our partners to improve the quality of service we provide.

Board of Directors

G Cooke

Glenn Cooke, Chair

Glenn Cooke is a career educator and currently the Principal at Saltfleet District High School.  Over his time with the Hamilton Wentworth District School Board, Glenn has served in a variety of roles in the classroom, Student Services and as an administrator in both the elementary and secondary panels.  Most recently, he was Principal of System Programs where his portfolio included direct oversight for:  System Alternative Education, SAL (Supervised Alternative Learning), Education Community Partnership Programs (including those in Youth Justice), and Safe and Caring Schools (Expulsion & Long Term Suspension), and included Administrative Liaison for: ArtSmart, HWDSB Audition Based Program of the Arts, Strings, and International Baccalaureate programs.  Glenn has also volunteered with minor sports organizations in Hamilton, including Rosedale Minor Hockey and Gage Park Softball.
Angela Morgan

Angela Morgan, Vice-Chair

Angela has a passion for community service and giving back to her community. A leader in municipal government with over 30 years of experience, Angela’s strengths are in strategic thinking, building relationships and leadership. Angela’s previous volunteer experience involved serving as the President of the Board of Directors for the Association of Municipal Managers, Clerks and Treasurers (AMCTO).
J Laratta

John Laratta, Treasurer

John Laratta, CA, CPA, FCPA (NT), FCA (NT) has 40 years’ of accounting and auditing experience. He is a retired partner with Crowe LLP Chartered Professional Accountants. He currently assists the firm in financial statement and audit quality control. He also assists in the financial training of clients. His experience includes assurance engagements of First Nations, government entities development corporations owned by First Nations, and corporate groups with multiple subsidiaries in diverse industries. In these roles he has reviewed management information systems, assisted with Board development, enhanced financial reporting of subsidiaries to parent corporations, assessing the financial return and KPI’s of subsidiaries. John has conducted many special projects in areas of contribution agreement management, reporting and auditing, board training, corporate strategy, and budget management. In his volunteer work, John currently sits on the Audit Committee of the Hamilton Wentworth District School Board and serves on the Board of Directors for the Hamilton Conservation Foundation. John is also involved with a Canadian Chartered Professional Accountants (CPA) advisory group and serves with the CPA NWT-NU awards committee.
Sonia boyle

Sonia Boyle

Sonia Boyle is Chief People Officer, Gore Mutual Insurance. Prior to joining Gore Mutual, she was VP Human Resources, TD Bank Group supporting over 10,000 employees in Digital and Shared Services. Her career expands 25+ years within progressive, senior HR roles in industries as diverse as healthcare, manufacturing, and professional services. Sonia holds two Bachelor of Arts degrees, in Labour Relations and Sociology, from McMaster University.  She has also obtained her post-graduate Certificate in Human Resources Management and holds the designation of Certified Human Resources Leader (CHRL). She is an active member of the Human Resources Professionals Association of Ontario (HRPA). She is Co-Chair of the Governing Body for the Toronto CHRO Leadership Summit. She sits on the Advisory Council (Eastern Canada) for the Conference Board of Canada Council for HR Executives as well as for the IPMI HR Management Institute.

Donnaa Fredrick

Donnaa has an Honours Degree in Psychology from York University and Certification in Physical, Mental and Developmental Rehabilitation from Seneca College. Her internship with Correctional Service Canada; authoring recommendations to the Parole Board of Canada propelled an interest in the legal field, to advocate for individuals in conflict with the law. She currently works as a Compliance and Quality Assurance Specialist within the private education sector. Donnaa hopes to service vulnerable populations, advance social justice, community empowerment and reintegration efforts.
Mark Garcia

Mark Garcia

Mark Garcia, CPA is an experienced financial professional with a demonstrated history of working in the Information Technology industry. As VP of Finance at MSP Corp Investment Inc., he is passionate about advancing business systems/processes and financial reporting. Mark graduated with a Bachelor of Business Administration (BBA) focused in Accounting, Audit & Information Technology.

Vikki Holder

Vikki Holder is a George Brown College graduate who has worked for 30 years in group homes with adults who live with intellectual and physical challenges.  She started with the YWCA in 2018 as a Women’s Advocate, in our Homeless Shelters and later in our Human Trafficking Safe House.  She is currently the Skills Development Coordinator, working with women in shelters or transitional housing, providing life skills to help them achieve their goals.  She also works with the United Way to provide after school programs in Regional Housing. Beginning fall 2021, she provides a STEPS program to grade 5-8 students.  This program discusses body image, self esteem, bullying and other issues students are dealing with at school and home.
Yvonne Kaczanowski

Yvonne Kaczanowski

Yvonne Kaczanowski, CIP, joined the Banyan Board of Directors in 2020. She currently works in the Insurance Industry as a Commercial Lines Underwriter for a Fortune 500 company. Yvonne is in good standing with the Insurance Institute of Canada as a Chartered Insurance Professional, and is currently working towards obtaining her Canadian Risk Management Designation through the Global Risk Management Institute. Yvonne has a passion for humanitarian work, as shown with her current volunteer experience with Hamilton’s homeless shelters, as well as her past in volunteering with animal rescues.
Jill M

Jill McKenzie

Called to the Bar of the Law Society of Upper Canada in 1994, Jill has a Master of Laws degree specializing in criminal law.  Since March 2015 Jill has been an Assistant Crown Counsel (Hamilton and Cayuga).  Her achievements include the Reuben Wells Leonard Prize in Sentencing from Queen’s University and the Sher Singh Award in Civil Liberties from the University of Western Ontario.   She is an Advisory Committee member of the Lawyer’s Legacy for Children and Fund and past volunteer of Welcome Inn’s Children’s After School Nutrition Program.

Miles Markovic

Miles Markovic has been a member of the Canadian Forces since 1998 when he joined the Cadet Instructors Cadre (now COATS).  During his career he served in various capacities with 150 Squadron, 826 Squadron, 779 Squadron, 713 Squadron and Trenton Air Cadet Summer Training Camp.  The focus of his military career has been the ongoing development, guidance and training of local youth.  Miles graduated from St. Michael’s College, University of Toronto with an Honours Bachelor of Arts degree and the University of Guelph with a Master of Arts degree.  All academic research focused on policy, intelligence and espionage in foreign policy decision-making.  Miles is excited to join the Board of Banyan Community Services as an additional way to give back to the Hamilton Community.
Mike Spencer

Michael Spencer

Michael Spencer is a Staff Sergeant with Hamilton Police Services and joined the Banyan Board of Directors in 2016.A recipient of the Canadian Forces Decoration and Clasp (28 years to date), Mike’s volunteer experiences includes Hamilton Highland Games, Mount Hamilton Youth Soccer, Ontario Rep Hockey League, Mount Hamilton Minor Hockey Association, Argyll andSutherland Highlanders of Canada (Pipes and Drums).

Goran Zivkovic

Goran attended Ryerson University and earned a Bachelor of Arts Major Degree in Criminal Justice and a Bachelor of Arts Minor Degree in Psychology. Goran is currently a Detective Constable with the Hamilton Police Service. During his policing career, he has completed 30 courses run by the Ontario Police College, the RCMP and the Canadian Police College. His previous work assignments include working in the Drug and Human Trafficking Unit. With his knowledge, he hopes to service troubled youth and use his experience to effectively reintegrate them positively back in the community. Goran is also a certified Muay Thai instructor and has helped guide individuals in conflict with the law in the right direction through the principles and discipline of Martial Arts.

Community Members of the Board

B Halasa

Bart Halasa

Bart Halasa graduated Summa Cum Laude from McMaster University’s DeGroote School of Business in 2009 and subsequently obtained his Chartered Accountant designation while articling with KPMG LLP. He has experience working in various private and public industries and is currently the Controller for JNE Group of Companies in Hamilton. Bart’s previous roles include Senior Financial Advisor, Financial Planning & Analysis at Hamilton Health Sciences and Senior Manager, Corporate Finance at Fengate Capital Management Ltd. in Oakville. Bart is a proud Hamiltonian with a commitment to improving the quality of life in our community.
No Picture Silhouette

Dr. Julie L

Dr. Julie L. is an Anesthesiologist at St Joseph’s Hospital in Hamilton and Associate Clinical Professor at McMaster University.  Her teaching interests include crisis management at the Simulation Centre at the DeGroote School of Medicine and one on one teaching in the operating room.  Dr. Julie L.’s administration interests include continuous process improvement within the healthcare system and is currently a surveyor for Accreditation Canada.  She is a Mom of four children and has experience with kids with special needs and boys with disruptive behaviour.  Dr. Julie L. has a strong belief that helping children develop life skills at an early age not only helps the child, but society as a whole.


Our History

Helping the Hamilton and Niagara Communities since 1978


Leadership team

Meet the people
who lead Banyan in
our work to help
our community


Contact Us

Phone: 905.545.0133
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