Updated: Aug 3
An interesting journey with a tremendous destination, is how John Bradford describes his path to becoming the 27th president and chair of the Lansdowne Children’s Centre Board of Directors, following the Annual General Meeting of Members in June.
Bradford’s time on Lansdowne’s board started in 2015. Moved by the opportunity to serve some of the youngest and most vulnerable members of the community, he volunteered to offer his 45+ years of experience in marketing and communications and offer his assistance with governance and strategic planning to help the evolution of the region’s Children’s Treatment Centre serving children and youth with special needs, and their families.
“It’s all about the kids,” says Bradford.
“If I can be a part of the effort to make a change for someone, or a number of children in the area, then I feel I’ll have a sense of accomplishment. I look forward to that.”
A long-time Brantford resident, John has previously served as the Chair of Lansdowne’s Governance Committee and has served on the Board’s Finance and Personnel Committee and its Capital Steering Committee. John also serves as Chair of the Brantford Family Physician Recruitment Committee. He is a past city of Brantford Councillor, and has contributed to several community boards including healthcare, post-secondary education and athletics.
John Bradford succeeds outgoing Board Chair, Rob Simmons, whose two-year term began and ended during the COVID -19 pandemic.
“Rob was the right person to lead governance at Lansdowne during the pandemic when we needed to ensure connectivity and communications in supporting organizational continuity while prioritizing safety of clients and staff,”
The owner of Cozzmic Communications-Technology-Security, Rob Simmons served a term spanning an important period of growth as Lansdowne incorporated virtual and hybrid services and implemented strategic plans to expand local presence throughout its full catchment area.
"It's a great honour to be named Board Chair of Lansdowne Children’s Centre,” Bradford says. “Management, the board and the staff are committed to both clinical and operational excellence. With the help of our Foundation and our families, we will continue to position Lansdowne Children’s Centre for success in supporting local children and youth with special needs to reach their potential."
"John has long been a champion of the young people Lansdowne supports," says Rita-Marie Hadley, Executive Director of the region’s Children’s Treatment Centre with sites in Brantford, Caledonia, Dunnville and Simcoe. “His leadership comes at a critical juncture, heading into 2023, the 25-year mark for Lansdowne occupying its current headquarters.”
For a number of years, Lansdowne leadership had been raising awareness with government officials and the Ministry of Children, Community and Social Services that operations had outgrown the capacity of the site at 39 Mount Pleasant Street in Brantford. Successful growth in numbers of clients and staff to serve them has pushed capacity well beyond its original estimated limits, limitations are felt daily with increasing wait times for assessment and service.
“With John at the helm, we are continuing our journey to secure appropriate premises to provide essential services. We currently serve over 3,000 children and youth annually and have an additional 2,200 currently waiting for access to service. We owe it to all these families to make sure their needs are known and addressed.”
2022-23 Lansdowne Children’s Centre Board of Directors
Comprised of members living and working throughout the catchment area (of Brantford, Brant, Haldimand and Norfolk Counties, Six Nations of the Grand River and Mississaugas of the Credit First Nation), and bringing a range of skills and perspectives.
Members for 2022-23 include:
• President, John Bradford
• Past President, Rob Simmons
• First Vice President, Lloyd St. Amand
• Second Vice President, Rick Sterne
• Treasurer, David Gowling
• Secretary, Ashley Veldkamp
• Will Bucholtz
• Mike DeBruyn
• Mike Gatopoulos
• Anne Noyes
• Jim Parrott
• Joe Persia
• Rick Rozak
• Karen Towler-Adams
• Dr. Ben Klein, Medical Director [Ex Officio]
• Jamie Hitchon, Foundation Board liaison
About Lansdowne Children’s Centre
Lansdowne Children’s Centre is one of Ontario’s 21 Children’s Treatment Centers and a member of Empowered Kids Ontario. Lansdowne provides services and support for over 3,000 children and youth annually, and their families, those in need of help with communication, developmental and physical special needs. The service region or “catchment area” includes Brantford, Brant, Haldimand and Norfolk counties, and the Six Nations of the Grand River and Mississauga of the Credit First Nation.
Lansdowne Children's Centre primarily delivers government funded rehabilitation and respite services, along with recreation programs addressing needs due to conditions including:
• Cerebral Palsy
• Spina Bifida
• Chromosomal disorders
• Neurological conditions
Lansdowne currently operates sites in Brantford, Caledonia, Dunnville and Simcoe, delivering a wide-range of services and supports for children and youth, and their families. Services at all-sites include:
• Speech and Language (communication)
• Occupational Therapy (fine motor/life skills and self-regulation)
• Physiotherapy (gross motor skills)
• Social Work (across the lifespan)
Services operating from Brantford, exclusively, include Autism Services, Child Development and Early Integration, Support Workers, Respite, and Recreation.