Beginnings Family Services

Board of Directors

Beginnings is governed by an elected Board of Directors:



Bryan and his wife, Kellie, are proud adoptive parents of two children.  Their son was adopted through Beginnings in 2014 and their daughter was adopted in 2017.  Bryan has over 10 years experience in various leadership roles within the hospital sector in Hamilton.  Bryan is currently the Manager, Quality & Value Improvement at Hamilton Health Sciences.  An active community member, over the last 10 years, Bryan has also held local executive and national board roles with the Canadian College of Health Leaders and also volunteers on the advisory committee for executive education at DeGroote School of Business.


RP, M.Div

Ann is a Registered Psychotherapist and WrapAround Coach & Facilitator.  Her background includes almost 35 years of working in marginalized communities with at risk families and youth, and is currently the Critical Care Consultant at Youth Unlimited in Toronto. She enjoys exploring the city, where she can often be found at the local farmer’s market on Saturday morning.


Trent has been a lawyer involved in civil and commercial litigation since 2005. He also has expertise in governance and procedural matters and serves on various committees at his law firm. He has been involved with many community organizations in the Guelph and surrounding area and remains involved with the Rotary Club of Guelph Trillium and the Wellington Law Association. Trent is an adoptive parent of two children, and his youngest child’s adoption was facilitated through Beginnings.


Heather is an adoptive parent of a now teenage son which was facilitated through Beginnings. Heather has been a regular speaker and panelist for the Adoption Council of Ontario “How to Adopt” sessions and has attended various events over the years in support of the adoption community. She also has over 25 years of strategical and operational Human Resources experience in non-profit organizations.


Tanya and her husband Glen are adoptive parents to their young daughter. Tanya works in Human Resources advising and holds a CHRP designation. Her primary focus is on employee relations, continuous improvement, recruitment and creating development opportunities. Tanya also specializes in policy development.



Jessica Stroebel is a Counsellor with Porchlight Counselling and Addiction Services with a background in social work including experience in mental health, community development, settlement, employment services and child and youth care. She is an embryo donor whose matching process was facilitated and supported by Beginnings. Through her role on this board, she is honored to share learnings from her own infertility and embryo donation journeys to help other individuals and families find meaningful support.



On November 7, 2023, at the age of 91, Rev. Arie Van Eek, a dear member of our Beginnings family, passed away.  As a founding member of Beginnings (1985) , Arie knew that together, the community could create something wonderful. He had a vision that family was more than blood relations and he worked tirelessly to make safe and inclusive spaces for those in need. Aries’s enthusiasm for ministry did not recognize traditional borders and his zeal for God’s call to bring justice to the oppressed was remarkable. As Beginnings continued to grow, we were grateful for Arie’s continued passion, support and guidance in our Adoption and Embryo Donation Programs. Over the years he has been honoured as instrumental in many unique initiatives and our community has been made stronger through his conviction, courage, and hard work, which he truly did for the glory of God.  Arie, as a leader, advocate, and a person with a huge heart, will remain an inspiration to all.

  • Hendrik (Hank) Bylstra
    Hendrik (Hank) Bylstra

    Hank was born in the Netherlands in 1952 and emigrated to Canada that same year.  His family settled in Hamilton where hegrew up and was part of the Paradise Road Reformed Church.  He attended Hamilton District Christian High School and later lived for three years In the Netherlands for study purposes.  Hank attended McMaster University in Hamilton for his Bachelors degree in History.  He attended Asbury Theological Seminary in Kentucky for his Masters Degree in Divinity.  Hank is married to Connie and they have two adopted Children and now three grandchildren.  He spent ten years as a Pastor in the Free Methodist Church in Southern Ontario before going to Mississauga in 1996 to serve for seven years with two small Reformed Churches in the GTA.  Hank took a 2 year course of studies in Conflict Management at Conrad Grebel College at the University of Waterloo and has served since 2003 as Pastor/Chaplain at Holland Christian Homes in Brampton.  Hank enjoys reading, photography, travel and family times.

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