Board of Directors

Tom Vert, Board Chair
Job Title: Retired VP of Manufacturing, ArcelorMittal Dofasco
Biography: Tom was appointed to the position of Vice President, Manufacturing in 2014 at ArcelorMittal Dofasco. Tom held various leadership roles in manufacturing including General Manager, Primary Manufacturing, Steelmaking Business Unit Manager and Steelmaking Technology Coach. Tom joined ArcelorMittal Dofasco in 1989 as Refractory Engineer after beginning his career at Crane Canada in 1987. Tom holds a Master of Business Administration and a degree in Ceramics Engineering from McMaster University. As a recognized expert in refractories, Tom was awarded the Distinguished Life Member of the United International Conference on Refractories in 2011 and has recently published a textbook on refractories for steelmaking. Tom retired from ArcelorMittal Dofasco in 2018. An avid Habitat for Humanity volunteer, Tom has built homes for Habitat in Malawi, Chile, El Salvador and in Hamilton.

Cherie Somerville
Secretary & Vice Chair
Job Title: Business Transformation Leader, BMO
Biography: Cherie is the Senior Project Manager at the Bank of Montreal and has been a board member with Habitat Hamilton for two years. She holds an MBA from the Schulich School of Business and a BSc degree with specialized honours in psychology from the University of Guelph. Cherie grew up in Millgrove (north of Waterdown) and lived there most of her life. She’s since relocated to the Hamilton downtown area, where she has resided for about 14 years. Cherie is also very active in the equestrian community and loves to spend time in her garden.

Ken Lancaster
Job Title: Partner, Tax Services, Grant Thornton LLP
Biography: Working in Grant Thornton’s privately held business segment, Ken primarily works with owner-managed clients. He has significant expertise within the manufacturing and distribution sector, providing proactive tax strategies on corporate reorganizations, corporate and personal tax planning, succession and estate planning for family businesses and SR&ED tax credit claims. Ken is a two-time McMaster University alumni grad, with a Bachelor of Science degree in Natural Sciences and an MBA, specializing in Accounting and Business Management. Ken has a wealth of community leadership experience, having volunteered as a committee member with the Estate Planner’s Council of Hamilton, The Hamilton Chamber of Commerce, the Canadian Tax Foundation and McMaster Children’s Hospital, to name a few. Ken joined Habitat for Humanity Hamilton’s board in 2017, as Treasurer.

Sue Ramsay
Board Member
Job Title: General Manager, Hamilton-Halton Construction Association
Sue Ramsay is the General Manager of the Hamilton Halton Construction Association (HHCA), a not-for-profit organization that serves the needs of non-residential construction employers in the Hamilton and Burlington area.  Prior to joining the HHCA, Sue spent more than eight years with the Council of Ontario Construction Associations serving as Manager of Operations & Communications. Sue holds a BA in Communications from Brock University and a Post Graduate Certificate in Public Relations from Humber College.

Carlo Montagnese
Board Member
Job Title: Ontario Regional Vice President, Genworth Canada
Carlo is the Regional Vice President of Ontario for Genworth Canada and has 25 years of varied financial sales, service and leadership experience. Carlo’s vast financial services expertise includes primarily in branch retail sales, sales leadership, head office operations, wealth management, small business, creditor insurance, and most recently, mobile sales. He is a people person who enjoys helping, coaching and mentoring others, to help ensure they reach their fullest potential. Carlo holds a Business Accounting diploma from Humber College and is a member of the Canadian Professional Sales Association.

Natalie Porcaro-Clermont
Board Member
Job Title: Barrister & Solicitor, Porcaro Law
Natalie specializes in both Real Estate and Business/Commercial law and has been routinely recognized as one of Hamilton’s best Real Estate lawyers, receiving four Hamilton Spectator Reader’s Choice Awards to date. She is a graduate of McMaster University and University of Ottawa, and is a proud member of several esteemed legal associations. Natalie started her career in Hamilton in 2012 with a prominent downtown legal firm, where she expanded her extensive experience in Commercial and Residential Real Estate, Condominium/Land Development, Corporate/Commercial and Secured Financings. Colleagues and clients appreciate working with Natalie because of her collaborative approach to legal matters. She routinely works with and consults her clients’ Realtors, Mortgage Brokers, Accountants, Insurance agents, Bankers and other key partners–as she firmly believes that a team approach is best to ensure optimum protection and cost-efficiency for her clients.

Brenda Khes
Board Member
Job Title: Associate, Senior Planner, GSP Group Inc.
Brenda is a Senior Associate Planner at GSP Group Inc.’s Hamilton Office with over 30 years of land use planning experience in both the public and private sectors. She has extensive experience in urban redevelopment, secondary planning, management and coordinating land development projects and securing development approvals on a wide range of projects. Brenda is also actively involved in the community as a member of the Hamilton Chamber of Commerce, the Hamilton Halton Home Builders’ Association, the Mohawk College Urban and Regional Planning GIS Program Advisory Committee, the OPPI Western Lake Advisory District Executive Team, the Greater Hamilton Professional Planners Advisory Group and Habitat for Humanity Hamilton.

Marie Verdun
Board Member
Job Title: Manager, Corporate Affairs at ArcelorMittal Dofasco
Marie is currently Manager, Corporate Affairs at ArcelorMittal Dofasco, Canada’s largest flat roll steel producer. She manages an extensive portfolio of internal and external corporate communications strategy and programs at the local and national level, including crisis communications, issues management, media relations, employee communications and marketing communications. A corporate communicator for 23 years, Marie has worked on both the agency and client sides and also spent time as a book and magazine editor. Marie is a graduate of Ryerson University (Journalism) and Western University (English).