Board of Directors
Meet our volunteer Board of Directors
Laura LaChapelle - Program Director
Laura LaChapelle is a long time resident of Simcoe County and has been heavily involved in community projects over the past 35 years. She’s focused on creating community engagement and growth around diversity and inclusivity. Laura has seen the shifting demographics happening across Simcoe County and is truly interested in making a difference in people’s mindset about diversity and inclusiveness. She has a passion for volunteering, community support and empowering youth. After achieving a Bachelors in Anthropology from the University of Toronto, Laura focused on Theatre Arts. She developed local theatre in Collingwood and Wasaga Beach and saw this as an opportunity to bring youth together in a safe diverse environment.
She has been a part of several committees including the Wasaga Chamber of Commerce Women in Business and the Town of Wasaga’s Youth Advisory committees. Laura has also been Publicity Chair for Wasaga Community Theatre, campaign manager for local municipal elections and journalist for both U of T and the Creemore Echo.
Having already participated with Making Change as an Art Engagement Drama Mentor, Laura is focused, in her associate role as Program Director and #ITSTARTS Project Lead, on continuing to provide support for communities so everyone feels included.
Michele Newton - Board Director and Acting Chair
Michèle Newton (she/her)
Director, Co-founder & Acting Chair Making Change
Chair: Communications, Education, School Presentations Committees
Michèle Newton is guided by her “better together” philosophy - growing relationships, nurturing collaborations and facilitating partnerships, especially those with a shared focus on strengthening our community. As a community changemaker, she created Our Mosaic Lives™ - a passion project exploring diversity and inclusion, launched Community Conversations – a live D&I interview series, and co-founded Making Change.
Michèle is a Speaker, Expert and Advocate with her public relations and communications agency, and writes and contributes a monthly Diversity and Inclusion column featured across Simcoe.com’s and Torstar publications. She is a Board member with the Barrie Community Foundation and is a Mentor with the Henry Bernick Entrepreneurship Centre. She was recognized in 2020 as one of 100 Accomplished Black Canadian Women and a YMCA of Simcoe Muskoka Peace Champion for her community work focused on Black Canadian Women, diversity and inclusion