North West LHIN Board of Directors

Gil Labine

Gil Labine, Board Chair

Gil Labine was appointed for a three-year term to the Board of Directors of the North West LHIN in November 2014. Gil, a resident of Thunder Bay, is a lawyer conducting a general practice in the fields of criminal, family, and civil law as a partner in the firm Atwood Labine Shaw. The long time Thunder Bay criminal lawyer, is deeply committed to the improvement of health care in Northern Ontario. He has served as President and Director of William Creighton Youth Services, Director with the Canadian Mental Health Association and member of the Board of Directors of Thunder Bay Regional Health Sciences Centre.

He notes that, "I have great respect for what the LHIN, in partnership with health service providers and other organizations, is doing to transform the health care system in this region. We all know that there are significant challenges that remain, but we're on the right path and I'm honoured to be part of the team."

Gil brings a wealth of experience from outside health care, including membership in the Criminal Law Association and the Thunder Bay Law Association, as well as nine years on the Board of Lakehead University. He says he enjoys working with other like-minded people to bring about important change, and has clear goals for his time on the North West LHIN Board.

carol neff

Carol Neff, Board Member

Appointed on December 7, 2016 for a three-year term, Carol Neff is a resident of Thunder Bay and has enjoyed a long career as a passionate leader in the community support services sector.

She served for nine years on the Board of Directors of the Ontario Community Support Association during an era of significant growth, change and opportunity. She has championed innovative health care solutions on numerous steering committees, networks and task groups, including the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care’s Provincial Alzheimer Group, the North West LHIN Steering Committee for the Centre of Excellence for Integrated Services for Seniors, and the North West LHIN City of Thunder Bay Integrated District Network Health Link Steering Committee. She also co-chaired the North West Community Support Services Network for fifteen years.

“As a grandparent, I believe deeply in the need for a sustainable system of quality health care for our future generations,” says Carol. “I welcome the opportunity to offer my skills and experience in service to the LHIN Board and the communities of Northwestern Ontario.”

With degrees in Nursing and Education, the broad scope of Carol’s professional background ranges from pediatric nursing to children’s developmental services and respite care for adults with disabilities and seniors with chronic health conditions. For 27 years, Carol worked in leadership roles at Wesway, retiring as Corporate Development Manager in 2014.

Dan Levesque


Dan Levesque, Interim Board Chair

Dan Levesque was appointed as the Interim Chair of the of the North West LHIN Board of Directors effective January 27, 2016. Dan was re-appointed to his second three-year term on April 18, 2014.

Dan, a resident of Greenstone, Ontario brings 31 years of service with the Ontario Provincial Police and an impressive community perspective.  His dedication to the community is evident through his work as the Chairperson of the Board for both Greenstone Victim Services and the Superior Greenstone Association for Community Living.

During his 31 years as a police officer, Dan travelled to communities all over Northwestern Ontario, including many First Nations communities. He got to know the people, and understand the socio-economic challenges in the north. He also came to understand how complicated it can be to deliver health care services in a vast, thinly-populated region.

Dan says the most exciting thing he has been involved with in his time on the Board was the development of the Health Services Blueprint, the North West LHIN's 10-year integration plan to strengthen and transform health care in Northwestern Ontario.

"This is a document I truly believe is going to transform health care in this region, and when I look back on this part of my life, I am going to be very proud to have been a part of that. I therefore look forward to continue providing my leadership and commitment in service to the people of Northwestern Ontario as we move forward with the transformation of the health care system and advance the North West LHIN’s vision.”

Cathy Farrell 

Cathy Farrell, Board Member

Cathy Farrell was appointed for a second three-year term which expires on April 23, 2019. Cathy, a resident of Thunder Bay, was initially appointed to the Board of Directors of the North West LHIN in 2013. She is a registered social worker who has spent her career helping children and people with disabilities find the care they need.

Cathy brings to the board excellent skills in leadership, strategic planning and governance. She has been actively engaged in leadership roles with numerous community organizations and boards, including Communities Together for Children, Lakehead Association for Community Living, Residential Placement Advisory Committees, school councils and community groups. She has extensive professional experience related to child welfare and developmental services. Her professional background gives her a useful perspective on how to improve the delivery of health care.

"I am a big believer in giving people choice when it comes to care," she says. "I also believe in the power of changing systems. What we are doing here at the LHIN is extremely transformative, and it is going to improve health outcomes for people in Northwestern Ontario."

Cathy currently operates North of Superior Adoption Services and consults regularly with the Thunder Bay Family Network. She was the founding Executive Director of Wesway, a respite care organization that supports families and caregivers in their own homes, and she has also managed Children's Clinical Services and the Fair Start Program at Thunder Bay District Health Unit. She serves as the Vice-President of Branch Affairs with the Ontario Association of Social Workers. Cathy sees her role on the LHIN Board as helping to provide a strong health care system in the North.

"I am a big believer in public health and helping people improve the wellness choices they make. As we continue to improve the care people receive in their communities, I hope we can also build an overall culture of good health."

She serves as the Vice-President of Branch Affairs with the Ontario Association of Social Workers.


Darryl Allan

Darryl Allan, Board Member

Darryl Allan was appointed for a three-year term to the Board of Directors of the North West LHIN on March 18, 2015. He is a resident of Fort Frances and  his career in the town where he was born, raised and continues to live has included many diverse positions such as history researcher, museum curator, manager of administration and finance, Deputy Treasurer, Deputy Clerk and Manager of Information Technology. All of which, he says, are a good foundation for serving on the Board of the North West LHIN.

"My background in administration and IT experience can be helpful, given how much of health care delivery now relies on Information Technology."

Darryl is a member of the Northwest Angle No. 37 First Nations, whose reserve is located on Lake of the Woods, and he has been actively involved with the Sunset County Métis. He graduated from the University of Manitoba with a Bachelor of Arts in History. His interest in health care administration dates back to 1985, when he served on a committee that was involved in examining alternate models for improving services and funding for the LaVerendrye Hospital. He says, "This is an interesting and important time in health care. There is still work to be done improving the way we deliver services. I would also like to see the people of Northwestern Ontario empowered to advocate for their own care and take better control of their health."

Darryl is excited and proud to be working with other members of the LHIN Board.

Herb ZoBel

Herbert Zobell, Board Member

Herbert (Herb) ZoBell was appointed for a three-year term to the Board of Directors of the North West LHIN on March 25, 2015. Herb is a resident of Thunder Bay and brings 20 years of commercial banking experience to the Board of Directors of the North West LHIN, as well as a deep knowledge and understanding of Northern Ontario's First Nations. Herb is a member of the Ahtahkakoop Cree First Nation, and is RBC's Regional Director, Aboriginal Markets, for Manitoba, Saskatchewan and Northern Ontario.

"I have a rural background. I'm small town raised," says Herb. "I know all about the access issues faced by rural First Nations. I understand how hard it is to ensure that health care services that they need are delivered to them in their communities, and I want to help make that situation better."

Herb also noted that, "I believe in giving back to my community, and serving on the LHIN Board is a great opportunity for me to do that. Northwest Ontario is a big place, with a lot of remote communities, and the people there need health care just like everyone else. I plan to work very hard to make sure they get it.”

Herb has a four-year Bachelor of Commerce Degree from the University of Lethbridge, and a Master’s of Business Administration from the University of Calgary. He has worked as a consultant for several First Nations in Alberta, and served on various aboriginal boards and committees in Northern Ontario. He says that while banking and health care are completely different types of services, they both involve understanding and meeting the needs of people in their communities.

Tim Berube

Timothy Berube, Board Member

Timothy Berube was appointed for a three-year term to the Board of Directors of the North West LHIN on March 25, 2015. Tim was born in Thunder Bay, but spent much of his early working career abroad. He was a Vice-President and General Manager of the broadband communications firm, Arris International in Tokyo before returning home to Thunder Bay in 2003. He then founded Ben Berube Holdings International, an organization offering both domestic and international consultancy services. His latest passion is serving as a Board Member of the North West LHIN.

"My career has encompassed telecommunications and IT, which are of course very important in health care today. But more than anything else, I have specialized in strategic change leadership, which is exactly what we need right now - because health care is definitely changing."

Tim holds a Master of Science (Leadership) degree from Capella University, a Master of Business Administration degree from the University of South Australia and a Bachelor of Electrical Engineering degree from Lakehead University. He says he welcomes the opportunity to work with other Board members in trying to find the efficiencies and synergies necessary to make the health care system in Northwestern Ontario successful and sustainable.

Tina Copenace

Tina Copenace, Board Member

Tina Copenace was reappointed for a second three-year term, which expires on October 17, 2018.  Tina was first appointed to the Board as Director on October 18, 2012.

Tina is a member of the Ochiichagwe'Babigo'Ining First Nation in the Kenora area. She is a social worker with a significant focus on indigenous issues. When she was appointed to the Board of Directors of the North West LHIN, she saw it as an opportunity to help people in northern communities obtain better access to the health care they need.

She also notes that, "I have an obvious concern for First Nations communities, but really I see the challenge as helping all the remote northern communities," she says. "We need to help these people get the services they need in their communities, and when they have to travel great distances to get that care, we have to make that easier for them as well."

Tina completed a Master’s of Social Work Program at Wilfred Laurier University in 2013. She has worked with various social service organizations and served on the Boards or committees of organizations such as Child Find Canada, Amikkowish Housing, and the Triple P.L.A.Y. youth organization. She is also on the Board of the Ontario Association of Social Workers. Tina is past President of Four Directions Toastmasters and past Area Governor for Toastmasters International Area 22. She says her experiences as a social worker have given her both the skill set and outlook she needs to contribute to the North West LHIN Board.