The Team

Founders

Heather Haynes | Artistic Director

Heather Haynes is an internationally known artist who has been painting professionally for 27 years.  In 2005 her work was brought into galleries across Canada, The United States and The United Kingdom.  She painted feverishly to keep up with the demand to supply these galleries for several years. In 2012 Heather opened her own gallery – Heather Haynes Gallery – in order to expand on the work she exhibits to the public.

In 2008 Heather took a trip to Uganda, Africa to perform humanitarian work in the effort to eradicate malaria.  Ever since she set foot on the African soil, her heart was won over by the environment and the people.

She continued to travel to different countries in Africa, specifically Tanzania and Democratic Republic of Congo.

She has found herself working with local leaders that want to help bring up their communities and reduce the impoverished situations faced by so many.  Heather has inspired and influenced many North Americans to join in on the effort to help some of the world’s most vulnerable people.

Due to Heather’s extensive travels in DR Congo and Tanzania, her artwork has been deeply influenced, featuring portraits of African women and children.  Heather had wanted to portray the people she met in her art, and so developed a mixed media technique that has been very successful.  The work is generally non political, but is more about portraying life in sometimes overwhelming odds – and coming through the other side, stronger for your efforts.

In 2013 Heather began an art project that shone a light on some of the worlds most vulnerable people. In 2016 she completed this 3 year journey by finishing her masterpiece, “Wall of Courage”, a depiction of 80 orphaned Congolese children.  The piece measures 40 feet wide by 12 feet high. Wall of Courage tours, and is raising awareness around the atrocities and injustices that occur to this day, in parts of the world.

Jeff Montgomery | Operations Lead

Jeff is an integral part of The Art of Courage and also the husband of Heather Haynes.  He may hide behind the scenes a bit, but as the Lead of Operations, he plays a very important part in ensuring things run smoothly. Initially, Jeff’s career path took him down the road of science based work, while being employed by a large corporation, specializing in research and development. 

When Heather’s career trajectory took an upward climb, Jeff left the science world and took the fork in the road that pointed towards art based work. Being an avid musician, this felt more aligned with Jeff’s life purpose, so it was an easy decision to make. Jeff tries to support Heather by tackling the elements of their businesses that allow Heather to spend more time in her studio, creating art. Whether it is art made to sell in a gallery or for raising awareness around humanitarian issues makes no difference, as it is art that is at the core of Jeff and Heather’s life.

Board Members

President – John Sheridan

John has been the President of 3 companies (Bell Canada, Ballard Power Systems and Encom plc) and a director on numerous Corporate Boards.  As well, he has been an active community leader, having served as Governor of Ryerson University, Chair of the Toronto United Way Campaign, Chair of the Canadian Hydrogen Fuel Cell Association, and as a director of the Canadian Film Centre and Crimestoppers.

He relocated from Vancouver to Kingston in 2016 and has become actively engaged in the community in numerous roles including: director of KEDCO, Angel Investor wth SOAN, Chair of Major Gifts for the United Way and a founding member of SPEAKingston.  As well, he serves on the Advisory Boards of Mercedes-Benz Canada and Canada’s CEO of the Year.

Secretary – Jennifer Foster

Jennifer is a Kingston lawyer practising in the areas of estate planning and administration, real estate, and corporate law at Ryder-Burbidge Hurley Foster. Jennifer began her career in Toronto with the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care and as legal counsel for the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH). A happy transition from the Big City–Jennifer enjoys the opportunity to work with local initiatives, such as this Art of Courage project.

Andrea Derby

Andrea has spent the past 30 years working in amateur sport. She is currently the Vice President on the Skate Ontario Board of Directors and is also the Chairperson for the Skate Canada High Performance Development Committee. Andrea is an Olympic level figure skating judge and technical controller, and spends countless hours working with all levels of competitive skaters across the country.

Michael Holiday

Mike is the President (retired) of Harbour Printing, a company he started over 30 years ago. Today, Harbour is a huge operation located in Mississauga, Ontario.Mike, along with his family and friends funded the construction of The Jonathan Holiday School in Goma, DR Congo in memory of his late son Jonathan. The school educates 350 children and is the only school in Goma that does not charge school fees for education.

Jacquie Costron

As a business coach and mentor, Jacquie focuses on empowering others.  Guided by her values that are core to living authentically she provides her team with personalized coaching, and training and support in financial planning and business strategy. She believes that a true measure of success is to be empowered to accomplish your own dreams while living your life in keeping with your desires and values. Her experience as Regional Director of IG Wealth Management spans three provinces and more than 26 years.   Jacquie’s volunteer service spans more than 4 decades and she has played an active role in raising millions of dollars for several charities.  Jacquie has been engaged in the Kingston community through her involvement in numerous charities.  Her current passion projects are Dress for Success, Well Suited and is enthusiastically looking forward to working with The Art of Courage. A top priority for Jacquie’s has been increasing the capacity of a community to care for one another.  She believes that a community must be able to respond to the growing social needs, both financial and through service delivery. Jacquie is a connector that passionately believes that through human connection and conversation we can make impactful and lasting change in our communities.

Whitney Haynes

While working as a consumer product developer and buyer in Toronto, Whitney decided to simultaneously start her own jewelry design business. Now more than eight years later, she is a successful entrepreneur working full-time as a designer and silversmith. Her connection to nature drives her to source locally, sustainably, and ethically. She often speaks on social causes for small business.

Kathleen Vollebregt

Avenue Strategy founder Kathleen Vollebregt, has more than 25 years’ experience in the advertising, research and marketing fields. Most recently Kathleen served as Director of Marketing for Queen’s University where she led the team in developing the university’s first-ever brand positioning, the foundation for Queen’s most ambitious fundraising campaign which surpassed its half billion dollar goal. She has previously worked as a senior account planner at TBWA/Chiat/Day, overseen the Canadian roll-out of the world’s largest brand database for agency Young & Rubicam. Kathleen currently sits on several Boards including the Kingston Canadian Film Festival and Kingston Chamber of Commerce.

Whatever the job, she attributes her success to an interest in how people interact with the world around them and how it affects their behaviors and attitudes. Her personal philosophy is to stay curious.

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