The Niagara Falls Community Health Centre is governed by a volunteer board of directors comprised of Niagara Region community members. With the board’s leadership, experience, & expertise, the NFCHC continues to move forward towards achieving its vision of empowering individuals, creating a stronger community through quality health care in the City of Niagara Falls.


Franco has lived in Niagara Falls for nearly 40 years where he and his wife, Renni raised their 4 children.  Franco has worked his entire career in the field of Law Enforcement (retiring as an Immigration Intelligence Officer after 35 years and following with an 8 year career as Municipal Law Enforcement Manager).  Franco has a Master of Science degree in Criminal Justice Administration.  He has sat as Director and Chair on several local boards.  Franco hopes to serve the Board by following in the footsteps of his wife, Renni who was the First Chair of the NFCHC. 

Board Chair

Franco Piscitelli

Susie Tombs.jpg

Susie was born in Montreal, Quebec and moved to Ontario in 1978. She has been employed at the Niagara Parks Commission for 39 years, over the years working in various departments, presently in the horticulture department in an administration/logistics position. Susie also has a small side business that caters mostly to seniors. She teaches people about computers in their homes, assists with their taxes, helps them downsize when moving, and she also drives them to appointments. Susie says that her greatest gift is her son Brandon, who she is very proud of. Brandon is attending Brock University pursuing a degree in Gaming Programming. The remainder of Susie's spare time is spent with friends, family, and her dog Maggee Mae; a 90 pound Mastiff/American-Bulldog that is gentle by nature and full of love.

Susie helps out community charities, such as the United Way, which she had the privilege of sitting on the board for two terms. "I learned so much about our community and myself during the time on the United Way board, I always felt that my voice was heard and taken seriously" Susie says, "When I was approached about being part of the Niagara Falls Community Health Centre as a Board Member, I was thrilled. The dedication and commitment of the NFCHC team is fascinating. Kudos to Henri-Louis (the Executive Director at the time) and his team; we have moved into a new location where NFCHC can provide better services for its clients. Hopefully I will continue to be a part of the NFCHC team".

Vice Chair

Susie Tombs


Born and raised in Niagara, Diane Vanecko is a first-time board member.  Diane is inspired by the Niagara Falls Community Health Centre’s achievements, and is eager to bring her health background and experience to take the organization’s vision further and make it a reality through sound strategy development. Diane strives to improve the residents’ quality of life, one person at a time.Diane is the Director of Organizational and Foundational Standards division at Niagara Region Public Health, overseeing communications, health surveillance and evaluation, and continuous quality improvement and education. She has been employed with Niagara Region for 21 years, beginning her career as a Public Health Nurse, and has held a variety of positions in the organization. Diane is currently leading the development of a new Public Health office in Niagara Falls. Diane graduated from McMaster University with a Bachelor of Science in Nursing in 1996 and completed her Masters of Business Administration in 2007. Diane is married to her high school sweetheart Darren, and they have two teenaged children. Diane loves watching her son play hockey and her daughter play basketball. In her spare time, she enjoys running the Niagara escarpment trails and hiking with her family.


Diane Vanecko


John Armstrong is president of Armstrong Strategy Group, a strategic communications and public affairs firm he started in 2011. John began his career as a public liaison officer for former Ontario premier William Davis and completed his bachelor's degree from Wilfrid Laurier University in political science and his Masters of Arts degree in political science.

John has worked in the private sector as manager of a cable advertising channel and has taught current affairs and the media to Niagara College journalism students and lectured in Canadian Studies at Brock University. His commitment to leadership also took him to Ottawa and the office of former Reform Party of Canada leader Preston Manning, as a strategist, speech-writer and communications specialist and has also served on the staff of Labour Minister Jim Flaherty.


Since becoming a consultant in 1998, John has delivered strategies to clients in all sectors including large multinational corporations to various levels of government, the broader sector, industry associations and not-for-profits. The depth of and breadth of his regional understanding reaches into healthcare, tourism, agri-food, manufacturing, municipal and electricity sectors.

John is also Chair of the Bi-national War of 1812 Bicentennial Legacy Council, and founder of the Lou Cahill Society, John has also been on the Board of the Niagara Community Foundation, is past chair of Niagara College's Public Relation's Program Advisry group, has been on numerous fundraising campaigns and a judge for the Canadian Healthcare Public Relations Awards.


John Armstrong


Irene Duford has been a resident of Niagara Falls all of her life, and says she has seen many changes in the community over the years. Irene worked for the Niagara Parks Commission for over 30 years and has worked with a great many people and thoroughly enjoys getting to know and helping others. Irene joined the NFCHC as a client in 2011 and has participated in nearly all the wonderful groups that are offered (some more than once)! Irene likes to help out with different groups here at NFCHC, such as Gentle Fit, Coffee Club, Peer support and many others. Come a visit her in one of our groups today!

"I became a Board Member because the staff at NFCHC literally gave me my life back." she says, "So I really wanted to help in any way that I could to serve others in the community."


Irene Duford


Born in Manchester, England, Carol came to Niagara Falls with her parents and brother in 1970.  She attended Westlane Secondary School and graduated with a journalism degree from Ryerson in 1980.  After several roles in newspapers, she moved to a position with the Ontario Ministry of Agriculture and Food to edit magazines for rural organizations.  Carol was part of the opening team at Casino Niagara and later Fort Erie Racetrack Slots. She made a career switch in 2002 becoming the Executive Director of the United Way of Niagara Falls and is currently the Executive Director of the Portage Medical Family Health Team. Carol lives in Niagara Falls with her husband.  She is the proud mom of three sons.  She likes to read, spend time with her granddaughter and from time to time attempts to play golf! 


Carol Stewart-Kirkby


My name is Jaelynne Sonke (Jae for short) I am a Registered Nurse currently employed by Niagara Health; I have been fortunate to  work within the healthcare setting in the Niagara Region for over 27 years.  Over the many years at Niagara Health I have demonstrated my skills and gained extensive experience and knowledge at many levels, I am currently the clinical nurse manager for the perioperative program, a position I have held for approximately 9 years. 

I originally graduated as a registered nurse from a community college, eventually earning my Bachelor of Science Degree in Nursing from Brock University and most recently an MBA from the University of Fredericton.   

I was involved at great length with the Niagara Health System’s development and plan for the new hospital build and its eventual move to its current site. As a clinical nurse manager and a health care leader I have been involved in strategic planning and development as well as being instrumental in initiating and sustaining many quality and patient safety initiatives.  I have participated in many accreditation processes, through these processes I have assisted with developing many step-by-step pathways, leading Niagara Health towards continuous quality improvement. 

I am excited to say this is my first year as a member of the board of directors, a position I take great pride in.  I look forward to my new position and value the opportunity of working collaboratively with many community partners and healthcare providers to ensure quality healthcare is accessible and available to all who require assistance; this is something I consider very important to me and the community we live and work in.


Jaelynne Sonke


Dean Iorfida was born, raised and continues to live in Niagara Falls.  He was employed at the City of Niagara Falls for more than twenty years, most notably as the City Clerk from 2001 to 2017.  He is currently consulting in government affairs matters.  Dean has an Honours Bachelor of Arts in Political Science from Wilfrid Laurier University and a Bachelor of Laws degree from the University of Alberta.


Dean’s volunteer experience includes being a member on the Niagara Falls International Marathon board, where he has served as chair for the last three years.  In the summers, along with his step-daughter, he coaches, his son and daughter’s teams, at both the Niagara Falls Soccer Club and Niagara United Soccer Club.  “I am honoured to be on the NFCHC Board with such a wonderful, cross section of individuals. I am hopeful that I will be a valued contributor to the Board.  Most of my professional career has been geared toward making my community a better place and forging partnerships.  Being on the NFCHC Board allows me to continue to affect positive change in Niagara Falls.”


Dean Iorfida

Madelyn Law.jpg

Madelyn Law has an undergraduate degree in sport management (Brock’99), masters in sport psychology (Queen’s University’01) and a PhD in health administration (University of Toronto’11). Madelyn’s research focuses on the creation of high performance systems through the lens of organizational culture, change management and quality improvement. Madelyn is the founder and Director of I-EQUIP which is the Interprofessional Education for Quality Improvement Program where she engages community partners and students in the health sector to improve the quality of health services. Madelyn is also the Faculty Associate for Experiential Education (EE) at Brock where she supports Brock’s vision to advance EE in courses across the campus.


Madelyn Law


Ian Masse moved to the Niagara Region to begin his studies in 2006 at Brock University and has been a resident of the Niagara Region since. He graduated from his Undergraduate degree in Psychology in 2010 and earned a Master’s degree in Social Work from Wilfrid Laurier University in 2013.  Ian has worked in the Mental Health and Addiction sector of Niagara and taken on roles include Mental Health Crisis Worker and Social Worker at Quest Community Health Centre. Currently Ian is a Program Manager for the Community Support Programs at the Canadian Mental Health Association Niagara Branch.


Ian is passionate about client services and enjoyed his front line experience working on a CHC team. In addition, Ian’s passion includes system planning and understanding how to best serve client needs. Ian has seen the interdisciplinary team approach works well for CHC clients. He is excited to join the Niagara Falls CHC Board of Directors to help plan for the members of the Niagara Fall Community Health Centre.


Ian Masse



  • Black Facebook Icon
  • Black Twitter Icon