Heidi Illingworth is the full-time Executive Director of the Canadian Resource Centre for Victims of Crime and has been employed at the Centre since 1999. Heidi holds a B.A. Honours in Law with a concentration in Criminal Justice from Carleton University. She has assisted many victims and survivors at various stages of the criminal justice system, met with Federal Ministers on issues of importance to crime victims and made presentations before numerous Parliamentary committees. She was involved with curriculum development for the Victimology Graduate Certificate Program at Algonquin College, teaches as a Part-Time Professor in the program and currently sits on the Program Advisory Committee. Heidi has also developed training materials for victim services staff and volunteers in Ontario. In 2012, Heidi was privileged to receive the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal in honour of her work for victims of crime.
Board of Directors
Susheel Gupta, LL.B., Chair
Susheel Gupta was 12 years old when his mother was murdered by terrorists on board Air India Flight 182 as it crashed into the Atlantic Ocean off the coast of Ireland. It was shortly after this tragedy that Sush decided to embark on a career to work within the criminal justice system so that he could do his part to try and ensure no other Canadian or child ever has to endure a similar tragedy. Most recently, he was a Federal Prosecutor with the Public Prosecution Service of Canada (formerly part of the Department of Justice). Currently, he is the Acting Chairperson and CEO of the Canadian Human Rights Tribunal.
He is also the Spokesperson and a member of the Executive for the Air India Victims Families Association and has been working with all the victims for the Air India Public Inquiry. He began his advocacy when he was 14. Increasingly, Sush has become involved actively in victims’ rights issues, services required for victims of crime and victims of tragedies in all forms and assisting in seeking out better laws to protect and serve Canadians.
Susheel is also co-Chair of the Kanishka Project Steering Committee which was established to oversee research grants of $10 MIL set aside by the Government of Canada to further strengthen and protect Canada in the area of counter-terrorism and related issues.
Being both a victim of crime and terrorism as a child and a lawyer working in the criminal law field, Susheel brings a unique and well-equipped background and knowledge to these numerous issues.
Marjean Fichtenberg, Board Member
Marjean Fichtenberg is the mother of a murder victim. She has been an active victim’s advocate since 1994. She is a past member of Citizens United for Safety and Justice, the first victim’s advocacy group in Canada. Marjean was also formerly a member of the Canadian Association of Victim Advocates (CAVA) Board. In 1996, she was instrumental in establishing a Victims Advisory Committee to Correctional Services Canada and the National Parole Board in the Pacific Region. The Victims Advisory Committee was one of the first in North America and the only one of its kind in Canada. She has given numerous presentations and workshops to various key players and groups in the Criminal Justice System.
Tom Stamatakis, Board Member
President, Canadian Police Association
Arthur Lepp, Board Member
Arthur is a professionally employed salesperson, who in 2000 lost his only daughter, a single mother, to homicide at the hands of an ex-boyfriend. Arthur has been married for 35 years, has a 30-year-old son, and is raising his orphaned grandchild. The Lepp family awards an annual scholarship through the Independence through Education program at the School for unwed Mothers, where their daughter graduated in 1997.
Arthur immediately became active in victim advocacy in his community after experiencing many roadblocks in his struggle to access services for his grandchild. He served on a parent advisory committee for special needs children for 2 years with the local school district. He served on the board of directors of Manitoba Organization of Victim Assistance for three years, and was instrumental in collaborating with a local service agency to find an appropriate meeting place for victim support gatherings.
He joined CAVA, Canadian Association for Victim Assistance, in 2004, recognizing the value of acknowledging and supporting the victim assistance community and the work they do. He and his wife are active in a local Voice of Resilience support group for Crime Victims.
Arthur has served on the organizing committee for National Victims of Crime Awareness Week for the past five years. He is a committed advocate for enhancing services for victims of crime. Arthur is also very active in his church community, seeking support from his peers to guide him through this life changing experience. He also serves in several volunteer capacities in his local community. He has a deep desire to pay it forward, for those that are to follow.
Carolyn Solomon, Board Member
Carolyn Solomon’s son Kevin was murdered in 1997 in Thunder Bay, Ontario, by a federal parolee. The parolee also shot Kevin’s friend to death and a month later killed another young man in a botched armed robbery of a gas station where the victim worked. The offender was convicted of three counts of first-degree murder and sentenced to life in prison without parole for 25 years. Mrs. Solomon and the two other families sued Correctional Service of Canada, the National Parole Board and the John Howard Society, winning an out of court settlement.
Over the years, Carolyn has actively advocated for the increased rights of victims in the Canadian corrections and parole system. Since 2008, she has been involved with the newly formed Victims Advisory Committee to the Correctional Service of Canada and the National Parole Board in the Ontario Region and Chair since 2010.
Carolyn has been married to James for 48 years and her son and daughter-in-law also live in Sudbury.
J. Scott Kenney, Board Member
J. Scott Kenney is an Associate Professor of Sociology at Memorial University of Newfoundland. His interests include law and criminal justice, deviance, victimology, the sociology of health, social theory, social psychology and emotions. His prior research includes studies of gender, self, coping and agency among families of homicide victims; reviews of the unintended consequences inherent in clients’ encounters with victim service programs; and analysis of the interactional dynamics of restorative justice sessions. He is currently involved in studies of “illegitimate pain,” the sociology of genealogy, as well as conducting research on the construction of meaning among contemporary Freemasons.
Morgan Martens, Board member
Morgan lost her brother, Dallas, who was the victim of homicide, in September 2009, in Roatan, Honduras. Since then, she has advocated for justice in her brother’s case and increased accessibility to victim services programs for Canadians who are victimized abroad. Since 1999, Morgan has worked as a registered social worker and her experience also includes:
- Past volunteer with Victim Services of the RCMP, Regina ‘F’ Division;
- Served on the Provincial Bereavement Committee for Saskatchewan 2011-2014;
- Provincial Bereavement Coordinator in Saskatchewan 2011; and
- Was a guest speaker on multiple occasions on the topic of Traumatic Grief in the province of Saskatchewan.