Meet Our CEO: Dr. Claudine Cousins

Dr. Claudine CousinsA scholar, practitioner and community changemaker, Dr. Claudine Cousins is the Chief Executive Officer of Empower Simcoe with over twenty-five years of leadership experience with various Ministries within the Ontario Public Service and the not-for-profit and profit sectors, including banking and financial services. As a sessional instructor at Georgian College since 2012, Dr. Cousins considers learning and development to be critical to organizational success. She has held leadership roles at Christian Horizons, including Executive Director Central District and Director, Ontario Operations where she left a legacy of valuing and engaging employees. Dr. Cousins brings outstanding knowledge and expertise from an operations and human resources leadership lens within unionized and non-unionized organizations with a drive and passion for the achievement of business outcomes. 

As a strategic and big-picture thinker, Dr. Cousins’ extensive academic training, acquired through a Bachelor’s Degree in Business Management – Human Resources from Ryerson University, a Masters of Arts Degree in Leadership from Central Michigan University, Post Graduate Certificate in Public Relations, a PhD. in Health Care Administration and a broad array of executive leadership certifications, has propelled her to continue to advocate for those who are marginalized and struggle to be included. Dr. Cousins is an ongoing volunteer with the Human Resources Professionals Association’s Regulatory Committee, a member of Lakehead University’s Board of Governors, a champion for the Sandbox’s HR CNNX Peer Group, and a Rotarian. 

A drive and passion for social justice issues and its link to business outcomes, Dr. Cousins is also a local advocate for equity, diversity and inclusion, and shares her experiences through presentations/speaking events, mentoring, and being a champion for women.   In her role of advocate for equity, diversity and inclusion, Dr. Cousins participates on a number of committees, councils and task groups, and is a very sought after speaker and panelist. Dr. Cousins was the recipient of the 2020 Woman of the Year Visionary Award at the Barrie Chamber of Commerce’s Business Awards. In the fall of 2022, she was also honoured to be the recipient of the RBC Women of Influence Social Change Award: Regional Impact.

Dr. Claudine A. Cousins, CEO

Societal attitudes are slow to change. Policies that outlined the framework for the operating procedures within organizations such as the Huronia Regional Center (HRC), however, started to evolve, leading to more of an alignment with the broader human services sector which was promoting person-centered (taking the time to connect with the person on an individual level) support. Click the link above to read more.

Congregate care organizations employ workers across various environments from shelters, group homes, long-term care homes, and correctional facilities. Congregate care workers in the developmental services sector face numerous risks that affect their quality of life due to workplace stress from daily interactions with individuals with intellectual disabilities and organizational demands. Workers’ perception of the support received from their organization may further impact their quality of life. Click the link above to read more.