Peter Boushy

Director

Peter describes himself as “an imperfect follower of Jesus Christ and His teachings.” Since reconnecting with his faith during the last two decades, Peter tries to put it into action whenever he can. Having practised criminal law for close to 30 years, most of Peter’s clients are marginalized individuals who need help in the courts. Interestingly, Peter’s family was on the receiving end of Christian missionary work when his father’s family – in the small Lebanese village of Kfarmishki – received aid from American Baptists to build a local church and a school. The prayerful spreading of the love of Christ led to Peter’s grandfather – the trail-blazing Fudlo Boushy – to become a Baptist Minister. (He then founded the first Baptist church in the Middle East!) Peter’s mother, Suhaila Boushy (nee Farkouh), and her family, were Christian Palestinian refugees from the Holy Land, prior to the creation of the State of Israel in 1948. Many of Peter’s extended family, on his mother’s side, still live in Israel. And one of Peter’s cousins – George Deek – was recently appointed as the first-ever Christian ambassador for the State of Israel.

Peter is married to a great Irish Canadian, Leona (nee Byrne), and they have two boys, Declan and Eamon, who, God willing, will help their parents spread the love of Christ to the beautiful children of Haiti, just as Christ’s love was spread to their great-grandfather’s village in Lebanon almost a century ago.

Peter Boushy
Mel Dear

Mel Dear

Founding Board Member

Mel was part of the first small group of volunteers who went to Haiti over 25 years ago to participate in a school building project. Returning on a regular basis ever since, he credits the successes and longevity of Joy and Hope to the spirit and strength of the Haitian people they serve and the amazing commitment of our many volunteers and Canadian partners such as Ontario Gleaners, Food for the Poor, and Home Hardware. Mel’s career was in advertising where he was President of the Canadian operations of a multi-national advertising agency. As a teenager, Mel’s daughter participated in a work mission to Haiti which influenced her decision to include International Development in her future studies. Mel’s sister, Marj, makes the dolls that inspired us to change our logo in 2017.

Russ Demeny

Board Vice-Chair

Russ is a graduate of McMaster University, the father of three wonderful young adults, and an entrepreneur in the metal casting industry. Taking part on a mission trip in 2002, Russ joined a group of caring people who had a passion for helping children in the third poorest country in the world and most impoverished country in the Western Hemisphere: Haiti.

“My first experience opened my eyes and heart to the struggles of people outside of our sheltered reality in Canada. I was hooked!” he recalls as if it were yesterday. He’s since travelled to Haiti seven more times to oversee projects that are near and dear to him. As the Board’s Vice Chair, Russ says, “it’s through the efforts of caring people and generous gifts from others who have a heart to give of themselves that we can walk beside Haitians and help them change through the education and mentoring of their children. Sustainable change takes time and it will come by empowering Haiti’s youth. By building schools, funding teachers, teaching and feeding kids, and putting in place sustainable programs, The Joy and Hope of Haiti has become my passion.”

As an original board member of this dedicated charitable organization, it’s his sincere belief that we can see these children change the course of their future and that of their country. “Brighter days ahead!” Russ exclaims with a good natured laugh.

Russ Demeny
David Landry

David Landry

Director

A high school French & Geography teacher in the Halton Region for the past 8 years, David is passionate about ensuring that learning is connected to the real world. David, having witnessed this on many accounts during his travels to countries around the globe, believes that both education and faith in Christ Jesus changes lives. With respect to global education, David has had the privilege of teaching French language courses in France & Switzerland during his summers as well as having led service projects to Rabat, Morocco and Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia. These opportunities have provided him with a greater appreciation for the profound needs of developing countries, in particular support for children and education. David has had a heart for Haïti and Haïtian people for many years and looks forward to combining his French language skills and his servant’s heart to partner with them to influence a new generation of Haïtians as they continue to rebuild their country. Anchante!

Jann Schlett

Board Chair

“When you see broken beyond repair… I see healing beyond belief.” Jann’s first visit to Haiti opened her eyes and heart to the plight and despair of children and families living there. The impact was significant or, as Jann says herself, “beyond comprehension.” Jann believes that there is a purpose for everyone on God’s earth and that the people of Haiti are no exception. Moreover, she believes learning and application are the keys to rebuilding the Haitian mind, body and spirit so they can rebuild their world. Although many Haitians try desperately to prevail in a world that’s forgotten them, it’s the ones who continually persevere through adversity that calm Jann’s heart. “Haiti has possibilities and where others may see worthless, I see priceless,” says Jann with steadfast conviction. Jann resides in Waterdown with her husband, Joe, and her daughter, Kelsey.

Jann Schlett
Mark Schultz

Mark Schultz

Treasurer

Mark has volunteered as Treasurer for Joy and Hope of Haiti since 2017. Mark has over 30 years’ experience in corporate finance, financial reporting, business planning and strategy. He is CFO for Southpaw Technology Inc. (Southpaw). Prior to Southpaw, Mark held Senior Finance positions in Software and Investment Banking. Mark obtained an MBA from the University of Western Ontario, as well as a combined Honours Commerce and Economics degree from McMaster University.

James Turnbull

Director

Jim Turnbull was a litigation lawyer for 32 years, primarily practicing in Hamilton with Mackesy Smye LLP. In 2005, he was appointed as a Judge of the Ontario Superior Court of Justice where he served until his retirement in May 2021. He now conducts a private practice in mediation and arbitration. He was a member of the first group of people from Hamilton who went to Haiti in August, 1989. Because of the needs they saw in Haiti, that group started Joy and Hope of Haiti. Jim and his wife Joan have remained actively involved since that time. Jim has travelled to Haiti on Joy and Hope project trips over sixty times.

James Turnbull
Joan Turnbull

Joan Turnbull

Founding Board Member

After visiting Haiti in 1990 for the first time, Joan has been back at least once a year almost every year since. “My passion is to change Haiti by having Haitians discover Jesus and be transformed,” Joan says with delight. Joan is adored by the Haitians who appreciate her steadfast love and heartfelt prayers. Responding to the plight of many who live in Haiti and trying to reconcile that to the spirit that resides in all of us, Joan says she “looks at the light, not the lamp shade.” A retired nurse, Joan is married to Joy and Hope founder, Jim. They have two adult children.

Helen Welsh

Finance and Admin

Helen has traveled to Haiti to see our projects, and meet our Haitian partners first hand. About her experiences, she enthuses, “It is very gratifying to work with such a great team, and to experience the generosity of our community.” Helen is a computer programmer with over 30 years’ experience in Corporate Finance. Helen is indispensable to the gala and exclaims, “Auction Night is a blast!” So grateful for all her blessings, Helen is just as glad to give back. Helen is married with two adult children.

Helen Welsh