Each Board member must express and demonstrate a commitment to the mission of the organization and be fully committed to the vision and service of New Unionville Home Society (NUHS) corporations. Board members must be willing to give time and resources (skills, experience, finances) in providing leadership to NUHS.
In addition, the Board has a fiduciary responsibility to residents, clients, their families, donors and the community – and is ultimately responsible for attracting funding and resources to ensure the financial viability of the organization and its programs.
2020-2021 Board Members
Click on the Board member name for their bio.
New Unionville Home Society
GLENN CROSBY is a Senior Vice President and broker for Lennard Commercial Realty. With over 50 years of successful sales experience, Glenn is a skilled communicator, powerful networker, and an influential leader in our community.
Glenn has built a large network in the York Region from many years of community involvement and dedication. He is a committed community leader who volunteers time to several regional non-profit boards. He is currently Chair of the New Unionville Home Society.
His past positions include Chairman of the Board for Markham Stouffville Hospital; Vice-Chairman on the Mayor’s Task Force Against the Markham Dumps; Chair of the York Region Hospital Planning Forum and Chair of the Markham Board of Trade.
Glenn is the recipient of numerous awards including the Markham Board of Trade Anthony Roman Award in 2008. Other awards include Ontario Volunteer Service Award in 2017.
Dan Horchik obtained an Honours Bachelor of Business Administration degree from Wilfrid Laurier University in 1979. After earning his law degree at the University of Windsor in 1982, Dan spent seven years practicing law with the Toronto firm Borden & Elliot (now Borden Ladner Gervais).
From 1989 to 2000 Dan managed a privately held real estate company. In 2000, Dan was first elected to Council in Markham and was re-elected in 2003 and 2006.
Dan has been the Chair of Markham District Energy Inc. and also the Town of Markham Budget Committee. He has been a Director of PowerStream Holdings Inc. and also for the Markham Stouffville Hospital. He is currently a Co-Chair of Collus Powerstream Corp.
Andy Taylor is the Chief Administrative Officer for the City of Markham reporting to the Mayor and Council. He leads the Corporation with his Executive Leadership Team consisting of the Commissioners of Corporate Services, Development Services and Community & Fire Services. Also reporting directly to him are the Director of Human Resources and the Town Solicitor.
Markham, known as the High-Tech capital of Canada, is a municipality of more than 330,000 residents centrally located in the Greater Toronto Area. Markham is Canada’s most diverse community and is home to many of Canada’s leading life science and technology businesses. Recipient of a 2010 Canada Award for Excellence – Silver for outstanding achievements in quality, customer service, and a healthy workplace, Markham is renowned for its rich heritage, vibrant neighbourhoods and leadership on the environment and urban design.
Andy is an Excellence Canada champion, sits on the Board of Governors of Excellence Canada and also sits on the Board of Directors of the Markham Board of Trade and the New Unionville Home Society Board of Directors. He is the President of Markham Enterprises Corporation and the Treasurer of Markham District Energy Inc. Markham was the first large municipality in North America to use the Internet in a binding election in 2003 and continued its use for all subsequent elections. Andy has been instrumental in introducing numerous e-government solutions to Markham including the launch of the Markham Portal Website in June 2011.
Andy holds a wealth of experience in both the public and private sector. Prior to joining the Town in 1992, he worked 10 years in the private sector in senior positions. Andy obtained his Chartered Accountant (C.A.) designation with Deloitte Chartered Accountants, earned a Bachelor of Science degree from the University of Toronto and an Honours Bachelor of Commerce degree from the University of Windsor.
Syrah Yusuf joined the Board of Directors at NUHS in 2019.
She is a practicing lawyer and is the co-owner/co-managing partner of Erudite Law LLP, a small full-service law firm in Richmond Hill, Ontario. Syrah holds both a Canadian and American J.D. from the Universities of Windsor and Detroit Mercy, respectively. She received her B.Sc. from the University of Toronto. Her primary practice areas are business law, estate planning/administration and civil litigation. Syrah frequently presents seminars for the community on legal topics, through the Town of Richmond Hill, and the Markham Public Library.Syrah was born and raised in Unionville. Her passion for senior care came from her experience caring for her grandmother until her passing in 2004, after which she began volunteering at the Unionville Homes Society as a student volunteer, visiting with residents.
Syrah is excited to be back at Unionville Home Society, many years, and many experiences, later.
Wyndham Gardens Apartments of Unionville
Philip Gunn has been a resident of the City of Markham for 10 years during that time has been an active volunteer with a number organizations within the community and is currently a member of the committee of adjustments for the City of Markham. He has over 20 years of experience in the commercial real estate sector and currently holds the position of Vice President Asset Management with GWL Realty Advisors. In this role he is responsible for a retail and industrial real estate portfolio with a value of $1.5 billion located in GTA. Philip holds his Certified Public Accounting, (CPA) designation and is a licensed real estate broker.
His involvement with Union Villa started 6 years ago and he has been involved in a number of committees and held board positions during that time. He is currently a member of the Wyndham Gardens Board and chairs the audit committee in addition to his position as a member of the board for Unionville home Society.
Blair Tullis joined the UHS and Wyndham Board in 2010.
Blair Tullis was active in publishing for thirty-five years and in the wood products manufacturing industry in Canada for the past twenty-three years. He founded Woodworking magazine in 1987 and alsoWood Industry magazine in 2005.
Since the late 1980’s, he has worked with the Canadian Woodworking Machinery Distributors Association on many issues. He was on the board of the Canadian Kitchen Cabinet Association for many years. Blair also sat on the program advisory committee of the Woodworking Centre of Ontario for 12 years and sat on the board of the Centre for Advanced Wood Processing at UBC.
In 1992, he joined with industry leaders to form the National Educational Initiative for the Furniture and Wood Products Industry in Canada to build a program of wood production engineering based on the German model at Rosenheim University in Bavaria. That body established, in co-operation with the University of British Columbia, the Centre for Advanced Wood Processing to train the future leaders of Canadian wood products manufacturers.
The NEI has become the Wood Manufacturing Council, of which he is the Past Chair. Through his extensive efforts, he has become recognized as one of most trusted and respected individuals in the value-added wood products business in Canada. In 2009, he was presented with the Wood Manufacturing Council’s Award of Distinction for his many ears of serving the industry. He also has a wife, Ginny, two children and one grandchild.
She holds a Bachelor’s degree from the University of Waterloo and a Business and Marketing Diploma from Seneca College.
Debra was previously with American Express Canada as Head of Financial Services and Product Development. In this capacity Debra led the strategic development of all affinity partnerships for the Insurance and Financial Services Division. She was also responsible for the P&L of the overall Consumer Financial Services Division.
As Senior Vice President of Group and Affinity Partnerships for Aviva Canada her role is to manage the P&L for the Group Business. She is also responsible for the development and execution of strategic partnerships including leading partner engagement, value proposition build and program management. Prior to this role, Debra led the Marketing and Sales functions across Aviva’s Canadian business.
Her experience includes securing and managing relationships and programs with a cross section of Retail Partners such as President Choice Financial, Costco, MLSE and Tesla. She is a results oriented leader with a proven track record focused on strategic and financial success, specializing in business development, partnership deals, sales management and direct marketing.
Astley Dennis, B.Comm., CPA, CA. has been a Wyndham Gardens Apartments of Unionville Board member since September, 2015. He is also the Treasurer of Wyndham Gardens Residents’ Association.
He graduated from Sir George Williams University (Concordia) in 1971 with a Bachelor of Commerce. His Accounting/Auditing profession covers 46 years - from 1971 to 2017.
He retired from professional Accounting/Auditing practice in 1991, but since then, he has been actively involved in volunteer services, including being the Treasurer and Chair of the Governance Committee of Tropicana Community Services Organization from 1997 to 2006. He was also a member of the Administration & Audit Committee of the United Way of Greater Toronto from 2007 to 2011. He currently is a member of the York Region Accessibility Advisory Committee since 2015.
His notable achievements include being a CPA Life Member, obtaining the Certificate of Appreciation for his many years of dedicated and committed voluntary services to Tropicana in June, 2006. He was selected to be a member of the York Region Appeal Panel for the Mobility Plus Hearings from 2015 to present.
Samantha is a practicing lawyer who serves as legal counsel for AFEX Inc, a large global foreign exchange payment provider. In this role she advises the executive team and senior management on matters related to employment, data protection, commercial contracts, and litigation.
She is a graduate of Dalhousie University where she earned her Bachelor of Commerce degree with a major in Finance. She also holds an LLM from City, University of London and is a licensee of the Law Society of Ontario. Prior to her career in law, Samantha spent a number of years working in category management at Canadian Tire Corporation.
Samantha is a member of the Toronto and Ontario Bar Associations. She is also an active member of the Programming Committee of the Women in Law Association where she plans and executes a of number of their events that are focused on advancing issues and causes relevant to women in the legal profession.
Samantha grew up in Unionville and has continued to support the community by volunteering for the past 20 years at the annual Markham MS Walk. In 2011, Samantha began her involvement with the Villa and for the following ten years volunteered as co-chair of Union Villa’s Annual Dinner Party. Her passion for senior care came from her father, Rob van Velzen, who was an active board member of UHS for six years before his passing in 2011. She looks forward to continuing her involvement with the organization within her new role as a member of the New UHS Board and the Wyndham Gardens Board.
Unionville Home Society (Union Villa)
Audrey Jamieson joined the UHS Foundation Board in June of 2017. Her brother Rob van Velzen was an active board member for over 6 years before his passing in 2011. Audrey is currently the Vice Chair.
Audrey has a Political Science BA from Western University. She is the founder and president of Marketing Kitchen Inc. a leading Canadian marketing production company that specializes in helping businesses acquire and retain clients or donors.
One of her great achievements is winning The Markham Board of Trade Entrepreneurship Award in 2017.
Michelle Tidball joined the New Unionville Home Society Board in 2019. Michelle has been a supporter of Union Villa for many years. Her mother became a resident In 2014 and Michelle worked closely with staff on her care until her passing in 2017. She is very grateful for all of the kindness and care shown to her mother.
She is an excellent communicator with strong advocacy skills. She has a great deal of experience in community building.
A resident of Unionville for nearly twenty years she has volunteered in a variety of community building projects, working closely with Municipal and Provincial government bodies.
As a member and later Chair of the Markham Public Library Board she participated in building three branches. This included various aspects of the builds from consultation with stakeholders, design consultation and following through during construction.
Previously she was a member and then Chair of the East Gwillimbury Library Board where she participated in the building of the new Mount Albert branch. She also trained and later participated in the writing and implementation of a new governance model for the Markham Public Library. She has a strong understanding and respect for the importance of strong governance leading strong organizations.
Her experiences as a family caregiver gives her a deep understanding of the complexities of dealing with government agencies, hospitals and long term care facilities from the family’s point of view.
Syrah Yusuf joined the Board of Directors at NUHS in 2019.
She is a practicing lawyer and is the co-owner/co-managing partner of Erudite Law LLP, a small full-service law firm in Richmond Hill, Ontario. Syrah holds both a Canadian and American J.D. from the Universities of Windsor and Detroit Mercy, respectively. She received her B.Sc. from the University of Toronto. Her primary practice areas are business law, estate planning/administration and civil litigation. Syrah frequently presents seminars for the community on legal topics, through the Town of Richmond Hill, and the Markham Public Library.
Syrah was born and raised in Unionville. Her passion for senior care came from her experience caring for her grandmother until her passing in 2004, after which she began volunteering at the Unionville Home Society as a student volunteer, visiting with residents.
Syrah is excited to be back at the Unionville Home Society, many years, and many experiences, later.
Unionville Home Society Foundation
Bio to come
Jim Cochrane has been a Board member since 2012.
He received his Chartered Accountant degree (now CPA) in 1973. After practicing for four years he got into the automobile retail business.
In 2001 he moved his Dealership to the City of Markham at a fabulous location on Kennedy Rd. and hwy 407.
He and his family have been active community members since 1981. They support many charitable events and institutions. He has been on various Boards of some of these organizations. Jim is currently on the Board of his company and on boards of various auto retail support companies in the GTA.