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OVC Board Members

The OVC consists of a part-time Chair, a part-time Vice-Chair and six part-time members appointed by the government. All of the OVC members have special expertise in the area of victimization.

Ruth Campbell, Chair

Gayle Nathanson, Vice-Chair

Maureen Armstrong

Priscilla de Villiers

Heather Imming

Louise Russo

Audette Shephard



Ruth Campbell, Chair

Ruth Campbell is a nationally recognized and award winning author, trainer and expert in victimology, with more than 20 years of counselling, teaching and community service experience with national and international organizations. She is a former Adjudicator with the Criminal Injuries Compensation Board and at the time of her appointment was a Crisis Counsellor with the Ottawa Police Service. Ms. Campbell is currently the coordinator/professor of the Victimology Graduate Certificate Program at Algonquin College and is a member of the Society of Ontario Adjudicators and Regulators and the Ontario College of Social Workers and Social Service Workers.



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Gayle Nathanson, Vice-Chair

Gayle Nathanson graduated from Osgoode Hall Law School in 1992. Prior to joining the Office for Victims of Crime, Ms. Nathanson was a Senior Consultant with Campbell Strategies. As Senior Consultant, she acted for corporate, individual, association and not-for-profit clients on a range of matters including victims' services and criminal code issues. Ms. Nathanson’s clients included a number of family members of Canadian victims of the September 11th terrorist attacks. Between 1996-98, Ms. Nathanson was an Advocacy Associate for the American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA) in Washington D.C., where she assisted in developing AILA's positions on matters of national immigration policy, lobbied Congress and managed AILA's grassroots advocacy efforts, coalition building and media relations.



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Maureen Armstrong

Maureen Armstrong earned her Bachelor of Laws degree from Queen's University and was called to the Bar in 1995. She has a post-graduate degree in human rights law from Instituto de Derechos Humanos at Complutense University in Madrid, Spain. From 1995-2007, she worked for the Canadian Human Rights Commission addressing the needs of victims of discrimination in a variety of capacities including: Investigator, Conciliator, Director General of Legal Services Branch, and Director General of Corporate Management. In 2007, she joined Legal Aid Ontario where she served as Vice-President of Central and Eastern Region. Ms. Armstrong has been a leader in a number of public service change management initiatives. She is currently Chair of the Criminal Injuries Compensation Board.



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Priscilla de Villiers

In 1992, Priscilla deVilliers and a group of concerned friends founded CAVEAT (Canadians Against Violence) after the 1991 abduction and murder of her daughter Nina. Working on a number of fronts, she campaigned to entrench victims’ rights and advocated for positive reforms to the justice system while educating the public on the prevention of violence. In 2001, Ms. deVilliers was appointed Special Advisor to the Ontario Office for Victims of Crime, where her work was highlighted by the completion of a report on the role of victims of crime in restorative justice in Ontario. When her appointment ended in January 2005, she returned in her private capacity to support crime victims and victim organizations. She has received numerous awards, most notably the Meritorious Service Medal, from the Governor-General of Canada (1996) and an LL.D (H.C) from McMaster University.



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Heather Imming

Heather Imming was a Subcontracts Manager working in the aerospace industry before a series of brutal attacks by her estranged husband changed her life forever. Following a final beating that left her for dead, Ms. Imming worked courageously to assist the Courts in a successful bid to have her abuser declared a Dangerous Offender, the first case in Canada where the Dangerous Offender legislation was applied strictly on the basis of Violence against Women. Today Ms. Imming is an outspoken advocate and educator on issues of Violence against Women. Founder of the consumer group Share Our Strength, she has also served in the community with the Lanark Coalition Against Violence, the Lanark County Domestic Violence Court Advisory Committee, the Domestic Violence/Sexual Assault Protocol Committee, the Lanark County Interval House and the Domestic Violence Grant Management Team.



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Louise Russo

Louise Russo had a lengthy career with Bell Canada, working in a wide range of capacities including sales, coaching and liaison with internal engineers, external sales and technical companies. In April 2004, Louise was an innocent victim of gun violence. Caught in a crossfire, her spine was shattered. She remains paralyzed from the chest down.

Today, Louise works diligently at encouraging youths to make our schools and communities safer places to learn, live and play. In November 2005, she founded W.A.V.E. (Working Against Violence Everyday) and hosts an Empowering Youth event to hundreds of students and teachers. She is also an advocate for special needs individuals and presently serves on the accessibility committee with The Hon. David Onley. Louise has been recognized for the following: the YMCA Peace Medallion 2008 Award, 2008 Attorney General’s Victim Services Award of Distinction, and 2008 TCDSB TSU Award of Recognition.



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Audette Shephard

Audette Shephard co-founded UMOVE (United Mothers Opposing Violence Everywhere) shortly after the murder of her only child, 19-year old Justin Shephard. She is a volunteer with Seventh Day Adventist Prison Ministry and a strong Advocate for justice and community safety. Ms. Shephard is a former Manager of Client Service with the Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce where she was employed for 28 years. She is currently Manager, Trade Finance, and Global Transaction Banking at Scotiabank. Ms. Shephard is also a member of Mayor David Miller’s Advisory Panel on Making a Safe City Safer.



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