Beginnings Family Services

Board of Directors

Beginnings is governed by an elected Board of Directors:



Clarence’s first contact with Beginnings was through the adoption of 2 children in 1987. He works as a financial planner and investment advisor. In the past, Clarence has been on his church council, Redeemer College Business Advisory Committee, OACS Financial Advisory Committee, the Kerncliffe Non-Profit Development Corporation Board for Shalem Mental Health Network, and the Board of Beginnings Family Services from 2006 – 2012.  He rejoined the Beginnings board in 2018.



Heather is the creator and owner of Ella Minnow children’s bookstore in Toronto. Founded 9 years ago, Ella Minnow recently moved into a larger space, noteworthy in today’s bookstore climate of closures and industry challenge. Heather earned a Masters of Social Work from Wilfrid Laurier university, where her focused area of study was adoptive families. Heather lives in Toronto with her husband and three teenage kids. Heather is an active volunteer: teaching parenting to street involved youth through Yonge Street Mission’s Evergreen program; participating in both the Children’s Ministry and Refugee Sponsorship and Support Steering Committees at Little Trinity Church; serving as a jury member for the Canadian Children’s Book Centre Norma Fleck non-fiction prize; and fostering feral kittens. Heather is interested in a wide range of handcrafts and always has many projects on the go.


Ann has been an associate of the Institute of Family Living for several years working with families, individuals/couples and individuals. Ann holds a Bachelor in Religious Education and a Master of Divinity with a major in counselling.  Her background includes over 20 years of work in marginalized communities and 6 years in tourism.  She has been facilitating a support group for young teenage mothers for the past 8 years, and a family group in her local church for the past 12 years.  She has also been active in facilitating workshops in the areas of mental health, parenting, relationships, grief and contemplative spirituality, as well as organizing seminars and conferences.  When she has the time, Ann enjoys exploring the city, spending time with family and friends, playing with her two cats, sailing, photography, knitting, watching films and reading, as well as some current writing projects.


Lisa has over 25 years fundraising experience in the not-for-profit sector in Hamilton.  She has worked in Gift Planning most recently at Hamilton Health Sciences Foundation and currently in her role as Manager of Estate & Gift Planning at St. Joseph’s Healthcare Foundation.  Lisa has served on the Executive of the Niagara Golden Horseshoe’s Canadian Association of Gift Planners (CAGP) for the past 10 years and most recently as Chair.  Lisa is a long-standing member of West Highland Church and she and her husband are adoptive parents to two growing boys, Josh and Jordan.


Sue is the office administrator for their small family software company, DataBind Inc.  Originally she graduated with a University of Waterloo Kinesiology degree, and worked in the area of cardiac rehabilitation and sports medicine. Sue has served as deacon and pastoral elder in her church, and co-chaired the hospitality events committee at her children’s school. She played varsity volleyball at UofW and has coached in school and representative leagues.  Sue, her husband and four kids reside in Guelph, where she loves to stay active, travel and go on adventures outdoors.



Bryan and his wife, Kellie, are proud adoptive parents to their son Zackary and daughter Rose.  Zack was adopted through Beginnings in 2014 and Rose was adopted through the CAS 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.


Adrian and his husband, David, are proud adoptive parents to their son Eli.  Eli was adopted through a unique Beginnings, CanadaAdopts, and CAS collaboration.  Adrian has over 20 years of experience in the transportation and logistics sector.  Adrian’s career has been focused on continuous improvement and leading multi-disciplinary multicultural teams.  Adrian, his husband and their son attend Forestview Church Without Walls in Oakville.


Diane was born in Aldershot, the youngest of 11 children, and raised in Mount Hope on a Sod Farm. She attended Timothy Christian Elementary School, and Guido de Bres Christian High School. Diane attended Humber College where she obtained her licence as a Funeral Director/Embalmer in 2005.  She has worked in Hamilton and Burlington before starting at Kitching, Steepe & Ludwig Funeral Home in Waterdown in 2014. Diane has been a volunteer with Good Shepherd Centres in Hamilton, Help Portrait, the Drummond House- Coldest Night of the Year Fundraising, and served on the Board for OSAID (Ontario Students Against Impaired Driving- no longer active).



Arie is a founding member of Beginnings and active volunteer in the organization since its inception in 1985. He received his Master of Divinity from Calvin Theological Seminary in Grand Rapids Michigan in 1957. As an ordained minister of the Christian Reformed Church of North America (CRCNA), he has served the denomination in both pastoral and administrative leadership roles. He retired from the CRCNA in 1999 as Executive Secretary of the Council of Christian Reformed Churches. Since then has dedicated his time to many worthy causes, including World Wide Christian Schools, Shalem Mental Health Network, and his home church of Bethel CRC, Waterdown.

  • 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.

Join In. You’re In The Family

Support the Beginnings family in a range of wonderful ways.
How COVID-19 is Affecting BeginningsLearn More