Professional Advisory Committee

The role of the Professional Advisory Committee is to provide guidance and expertise related to service delivery, assist in the assessment of the organization’s impact, and provide public advocacy.

The Professional Advisory Committee is a standing committee with a one year minimum duration of service.  Current advisory members are professionals in the areas of social work, education, grief and bereavement, healthcare, and former Lighthouse participants.

Mary King Lyons

Mary King-Lyons, RN, MSW, MKL Counseling and Consulting Services – Chair

Mary King-Lyons has enjoyed a long career in health and social services. Her first career was as a Registered Nurse in the field of Psychiatry. Following attainment of a Masters of Social Work degree, Mary worked for 33 years at ErinoakKids Centre for Treatment and Development. She had oversight of the broad range of multi-disciplinary services as Vice President, Clinical Services; her final role was Vice President, Strategic Initiatives. During Mary’s tenure at ErinoakKids she developed expertise in grief therapy related to disability and loss; this led to her interest in Lighthouse and her current role as a Parent Group Facilitator. A long term resident of Oakville, Mary raised two children with her husband John, and is now enjoying the role of grandparent.

gurjit sangha

Gurjit Sangha, RN BSc MN CHPCN (C), Palliative Care Facilitator, Women’s & Children’s Program, Trillium Health Partners, Credit Valley Hospital

Gurjit Sangha is the Palliative Care Facilitator in the Women’s & Children’s Program at Trillium Health Partners (THP) – Credit Valley Hospital. Gurjit is a Registered Nurse with her Master’s Degree in Nursing (Clinical Stream) from the University of Toronto and has her certification in Hospice Palliative Care Nursing through the Canadian Nurses’ Association. Gurjit provides clinical care to children with life limiting conditions and their families within the hospital and in the community. This care includes symptom management, advanced care planning, communication with children about dying and death, anticipatory guidance for end of life care, and psychosocial support through end of life and bereavement. In addition she provides informal and formal education regarding paediatric palliative care to the interprofessional team members. Gurjit also provides support to staff as they care for children through end of life and facilitates debriefs for staff following the death of a child.
Prior to joining THP Gurjit was the Clinical Nurse Specialist (CNS) with the Paediatric Advanced Care Team (PACT) at SickKids in Toronto.


Candace Ray M.Ed., CAGS, Director of Services and Operations

Candace joined the Lighthouse in January of 2013 and brings with her over 20 years of experience in social work and public education. While employed as a social worker, Candace completed her Master’s degree in Education at the University of Vermont in 1992. Candace spent the next four years as a Special Educator in a public high school and earned a Certificate of Advanced Graduate Study in Education at the University of Vermont in 1998 before moving to Canada. In addition to her experience as a teacher and social worker, Candace has spent over 10 years coordinating programs and working with volunteers at Big Brothers Big Sisters mentoring organizations in both Canada and the United States. She is passionate and committed to supporting children, youth and their families as they face difficult life challenges and considers it a privilege to be part of the Lighthouse team of dedicated staff and volunteers.

deirdre thomas

Deirdre Thomas, BBS, Marketing & Events Manager (Contract)

Deirdre joined The Lighthouse as a volunteer in 2013 to help with runner recruitment and fundraising. This volunteer role grew to leading Lighthouse’s partnership with the Mercedes-Benz 10K. Deirdre then joined on a part-time contract in 2016 to help with event management, fundraising and marketing. Deirdre completed her undergraduate degree in Business Studies in Ireland before moving to the UK to pursue her career. She added a two year diploma in Management from Henley Management College to her credentials and then moved to Canada in 1998, where she lives in Oakville with her husband and two sons. Deirdre brings over 25 years of marketing experience to The Lighthouse, having worked for Smurfit Kappa Group, British Telecom, Yum Brands and Starbucks in various category and brand management roles. She has always been an active volunteer in the community- being the co-founder of the Ladies Out Laughing comedy event, being a board director of Oakville Multisport and organizing fundraising events for local schools.

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Teresa Lorentz, Child and Youth Counsellor, Halton Catholic District School Board

With 21 years experience as a Child and Youth Counsellor, Teresa prides herself in facilitating therapeutic programs for children in small groups and classrooms currently at St. Elizabeth Seton and Mother Teresa schools. She manages a one to one caseload delivering coping strategies and skill building to children in the areas of social skills, conflict resolution, leadership and bereavement.A member of the HCDSB -CCCRT (Crisis, Compassionate, Care, Response Team) she helps students, staff and administrators at various school sites deal with sudden and anticipatory grief. She is also a placement supervisor for Sheridan College, training students in the Child and Youth Care Worker program.Theresa is ASSIST trained( Applied Suicide Intervention Skills Training) along with Safe Talk ( Suicide Alertness for Everyone) and a trained Roots of Empathy Instructor.A proud mom of an 18 yr old daughter and a 15 yr old son, Teresa and her family live in the Hamilton area.


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Judy Szyiko, Secondary School Teacher – Retired, Halton District School Board

Judy retired from the Halton District School Board after 25 years of teaching. She holds an Honours Bachelor of Arts and a Bachelor of Education degree with specialist certification in French. She taught at several secondary schools in the areas of Core French, French Immersion and Special Education. During this time, she was involved in various school committees and activities, including serving as staff advisor to the student Wellness Committee. She is a long-time resident of Oakville where she and her husband raised their two sons. Judy knows through personal experience the value of having a support system during the difficult grief journey and is a strong supporter of the Lighthouse vision. She is very pleased to be both a volunteer facilitator at the Lighthouse as well as a member of the Professional Advisory Committee.


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Marcus Logan, Manager-Community Information, Oakville Public Library

With over 20 years of front line mental health support and education experience with a focus on LGBTQ+ children, youth and families, Marcus is a solid community organizer and bridge builder who loves to bring programs and services into the community and sits on many other coalitions such as The Halton Equity and Diversity Roundtable, Halton Suicide Prevention Coalition, LGBTQ+ Youth Collective Impact project, and is a current board member with the Children’s AID Society of Halton. Currently the Manager of Community Information for the Oakville Public Library and the lead for the Halton Information Providers - Community Services Database, Marcus has strong connections to community and agencies across Oakville, the Halton Region and the Province of Ontario. 
Marcus comes to Lighthouse with a lived experience of losing a parent when he was 10 years old and is committed to supporting others through this work and personal life. Marcus is married and will be celebrating a 30 year anniversary in 2018 and enjoys spending time with his two children and family. In his volunteer time, Marcus is the Camp Director for a camp for children and youth from LGBTQ+ communities and identities called Camp Ten Oaks.This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.